An estate plan is a collection of protective documents that determine what happens with someone’s property when they die, who will make decisions on their behalf in the event of incapacitation, etc. Most estate plans are simple and focus on what happens when someone dies, but people have the option of adding additional other documents to an estate plan which have authority while they are still alive. The possibility of cognitive decline or incapacity is a very compelling reason to put together an estate plan with living documents in Michigan.
The right paperwork can actually help someone avoid a conservatorship or guardianship. This is an important goal for many individuals as they age.
Advanced empowers a testator to plan for their own support
When family members or caregiving professionals start to worry about someone’s cognitive abilities or their ability to manage their life without support, they can ask the Michigan probate courts for help. Judges can decide in some cases that certain adults need outside support. A guardianship gives one adult control over the daily life and healthcare decisions of someone else. A conservatorship gives someone authority over another adult’s financial resources. The individual with diminished capacity often has no influence on who the courts name to those positions of authority.
Those who add the right living documents to an estate plan will have more troll even if they get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or have other serious health issues later in life. Durable powers of attorney can empower a specific agent to handle someone’s medical or financial matters when they experience incapacitation. The documents can retain their authority even if someone becomes permanently incapable of taking legal action on their own behalf.
Instead of waiting to see if one’s health decline will impact their financial well-being and physical comfort, it is often a better idea to proactively take control by putting together powers of attorney and other living documents that will help if people have reason to question an adult’s testamentary capacity. Adding the right documents to a Michigan estate plan can give someone enhanced protection throughout their life, as well as greater peace of mind.