Watching a loved one’s health or mental faculties decline is a painful ordeal. Unfortunately, you may also find yourself in charge of managing his affairs when he can longer do it for himself. Estate plan implementation does not always begin with the death of a loved one; it can begin even while he is still alive. And in cases of incapacity, the estate plan may provide useful tools to help.
What You Can Do to Help
If you suspect that your loved one is incapacitated, you have several options available to you. Following is an overview:
- Review your loved one’s trust. It may contain specific provisions that allow you to step in as successor trustee and oversee the trust assets.
- Review your loved one’s power of attorney. If you are named under this instrument, you may have the ability to take over your loved one’s financial affairs without first seeking court involvement.
- Seek court involvement if your loved one’s estate plan does not contain the necessary tools to allow you to step in and take over his affairs without judicial oversight. You will need the court to make a determination of incapacity. Once this is accomplished, you can then seek to be appointed conservator over his estate. A conservatorship will allow you to act on your loved one’s behalf with regard to financial and personal care decisions.
Understanding which options are best for your situation requires the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney. Do you need some help with an estate implementation matter? Reach out to us at your convenience using our live chat.