Steven J. Gaba - Rockville Family Law Attorney
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Do I need an adult guardian to fill estate planning gaps?

Sometimes it is obvious an adult is too incapacitated to make important life decisions or exercise proper self-care. However, some Rockville adults are able to make preparations for their future through certain estate planning documents. This does not mean, however, that your sibling or parent in Maryland might not have left some gaps in planning for the future. Someday an adult guardian might be needed to handle those lack of provisions.

Caring.com explains the different areas of a person’s life that could be overlooked. For example, your father or mother may have neglected to prepare a power of attorney to handle financial decisions. Conversely, your parents may have prepared a POA for financial matters but failed to create documents that will designate future medical decisions, like a living will or a medical directive.

Even if your parents did create estate planning documents to take care of medical or financial matters, there could be gaps within those provisions as well. A medical directive, for instance, may not cover all possible healthcare decisions for your parents. The directive can cover this by appointing someone to make those decisions on your parents’ behalf. However, if the directive fails to do this, your parents could lose some control over their future healthcare choices if they become incapacitated.

Some estate plans may also not cover basic life choices that your loved one may no longer be capable of making. Even if your relative has appointed a financial and medical power of attorney, there are still matters to be handled such as where your relative can live and who can spend time with your relative. If your relative cannot handle these basic life questions any longer, an adult guardian may be needed.

It is important to look for these gaps in your loved ones’ estate plans. In the event your relative or parents become incapacitated, it may become necessary to have an adult guardian appointed to handle the matters that your loved ones did not account for. You may only need a guardian to handle property matters, or you might just need one to take care of medical decisions.

Because adult guardianship matters will differ from person to person, do not read this article as legal counsel. It is only intended for educational benefit.

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