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How to Avoid Guardianship?

As you age, it is essential to consider the avoidance of guardianship. Avoiding guardianship rests solely on your intent as an individual and then your capability to draft those crucial documents that relay your wishes regarding who you want to take care of and make decisions for you on financial and medical matters.   

Two essential documents: The Durable Power Attorney and The Health Care Surrogate Designation, can save you thousands of dollars in avoiding a court proceeding to engage in guardianship should you become incapacitated and unable to take care of your affairs.  

 What Is the Durable Power Attorney?  

The Durable Power of Attorney is the first and most basic of all documents. This document names an agent to:  

  • Handle your personal and business affairs. 
  • Your property and assets. 
  • Capability to take all necessary transactions should you become incapacitated. 

Your agent now has the authority to step into your shoes and conduct business on your behalf!  

The Durable Power of Attorney provides the benefit of surviving incapacity, which offers protection from guardianship. In the absence of a Durable Power of Attorney, all your affairs are unprotected, which makes it mandatory for someone to go to court and ask the court to appoint you a guardian. Then they must seek approval from the court to be selected.  

 What Is Health Care Surrogate Proxy? 

The second necessary document is the Health Care Surrogate Designation. This document provides the person of your choice with authority to make all medical decisions on your behalf if there is sudden incapacitation. It is not automatic that your family members will be able to make those decisions for you.  

You must have some form of medical authority given to someone else so that person can take over your ability to make medical decisions for you and access records. Once you have appointed someone, that person becomes a surrogate healthcare decisionmaker on your behalf.       

These two little documents can escalate the avoidance of guardianship in the future if they are appropriately drafted and, more importantly, if they are drafted when you have the capacity.  

Learn more about Guardianship.