The prospect of our own incapacity is one that we all must face. Those who created estate plans when they were younger may not have addressed this issue. As time goes on, however, it is crucial to modify your Orange County trust to incorporate this type of planning. Without an effective living trust, your loved ones will be forced to go to the probate court to seek the appointment of a guardian. Having a court-appointed guardian offers far less control for you and less protection for your family.
Why is a Court-Appointed Guardian is less desirable than a trust; eight common reasons:
- A court-appointed guardian must file annual accountings with the probate court, which is an additional responsibility and expense.
- Family members may end up in dispute over who should be the court-appointed guardian.
- Legal fees, including court fees and attorney fees, will likely be incurred during the guardianship-appointment process.
- Court supervision over a guardian is ongoing.
- Some guardians may collect a fee out of your estate, which may or may not be in accordance with your wishes.
- State guardianship statutes granting powers to a court-appointed guardian are often more limited than the powers granted to trustees under state trust laws.
- It may be more difficult to prove incapacity to the court rather than in accordance with the definition outlined in your living trust.
- A guardianship does not assist with a smooth transition to estate settlement in the event that you pass away.
Living trusts offer many other benefits that make an estate plan update well worth your while. To learn more about how we can help you with your estate plan modification, peruse the articles in our blog.