Power of Attorney Lawyer Chandler, AZ
A Power of Attorney Lawyer in Chandler, AZ at Citadel Law Firm, PLLC assists clients with a wide range of estate planning legal services. This includes creating a durable power of attorney for those who may benefit from having this safeguard in place. In fact, it is a good idea for most people who own property or earn an income to take this particular estate planning step. Accidents and the unexpected can happen anytime to anyone.
For others who have known health issues, having a power of attorney in place can provide peace of mind knowing that someone they trust can handle their financial matters should it become necessary. Please consider contacting our team to explore this specific legal resource today.
Why should I create a durable power of attorney?
If you create a durable power of attorney, then the person of your designation will be legally recognized to act on your behalf in various matters such as finances or managing your small business if you become incapacitated. In this context, incapacitation is generally considered the inability to make important decisions because of a serious medical or mental condition. The person of your designation is sometimes referred to as your agent. They are expected to act in your best interests, and in the way you would have acted had you not become incapacitated.
The process of designating a durable power of attorney is a low-stress process that can be navigated efficiently and effectively with the help of a Power of Attorney Lawyer in Chandler, Arizona.
What happens if I don’t create a durable power of attorney and become incapacitated?
If you do not create a durable power of attorney, then your loved ones will need to petition a judge to act on your behalf. In this context, the person named to manage your affairs may be referred to as the guardian of your estate, conservator, curator, or committee.
If your family must petition the Court to appoint a guardian on your behalf, that legal proceeding will become a matter of public record. The nature of your condition will also be made public as a result. Depending on the jurisdiction in which this occurs, it may even be a legal requirement that a notice about the proceeding must be printed in the local newspaper. In addition, disagreements within your family may arise when it comes to them trying to decide who should be your guardian. All of this can be avoided should you create a durable power of attorney with help from our team.
What if I have a living trust?
If you create a living trust and later become incapacitated, the successor trustee who you named will have the legal authority to manage the property you had already transferred into the trust. However, any property that is not part of the trust they cannot touch. Without the authorization provided by a power of attorney, the successor trustee cannot handle your day-to-day financial needs or make important healthcare decisions on your behalf.
To learn more about creating a power of attorney and other estate planning tools, schedule a consultation with an Arizona Power of Attorney Lawyer today.
Avoiding Trust Litigation
A trust allows you to decide who will receive what from your estate and when they will receive it. A trust gives you more control than a will, so it’s often the preferred means of estate planning. However, that doesn’t mean conflicts never arise. If one of your family members questions the legality of your trust, they may try to challenge the trust in court. This can be very stressful and time-consuming for all your loved ones. That’s why you should try your best to prevent this from happening in the first place.
Here are some tips for avoiding trust litigation:
Use Clear Language in the Trust
When you work with your estate planning to establish your trust, make sure that the language is clear and easy to understand. If you use complex legal terminology or vague language, your trustee and beneficiaries may have difficulty understanding it and disagree about how the trust should be interpreted.
Have Open Communication With Your Heirs
It’s a good idea to sit down with all your heirs and tell them what they should expect from their inheritances. This way, there won’t be any surprises later on. If you will be giving an heir a smaller inheritance than others, it’s important to explain your decision to them. For example, if one of your adult children is better off financially than others, tell them that you will be giving their siblings more because they need it.
Select the Right Trustee
You should be very careful in choosing a trustee for your trust. This person should be honest and responsible. You should be completely confident that that the trustee you choose will understand everything you stated in the trust and communication your intentions to your heirs. If you don’t feel comfortable selecting someone from your family to serve as trustee, you can always hire an outside trustee, such as a Chandler Power of Attorney Lawyer at Citadel Law Firm, PLLC.
Update Your Trust as Needed
Most people need to update their trust at least a few times in their life. If you have a major life, it’s important to make the necessary changes to your trust. For example, if you get divorced, you will likely want to remove your spouse from your trust. If you have a falling out with a family member and are no longer on speaking terms, you may also want to take them out of your trust.
Consulting With an Estate Planning Lawyer
If you want to establish a trust, it’s important to consult with a reputable estate planning lawyer. Trusts are very complex documents, so it’s important to have someone with knowledge and experience on your side. Be specific about your needs with your lawyer and don’t hesitate to bring up your concerns.
Understanding Conservatorships – The Basics
Are you concerned about the welfare of an elderly friend or relative? Are you worried that they will not take their medications correctly — or at all? Are they able to handle their finances, pay bills, take care of their homes or themselves? If so, you may want to seek the court’s assistance in appointing a guardian, or conservatorship.
Especially if an individual who needs help has yet to designate a power of attorney, conservatorship or guardianship may allow that individual to receive the help he or she needs. If you have questions about this process, don’t hesitate to connect with an experienced member of our team today.
An elderly conservatorship is a relationship that occurs when the court selects an individual to assume care for an elderly person when they are unable to do so themselves. The conservator is required to perform specific functions on behalf of the conservatee. There are two types of conservatorships:
- If the elderly person can no longer handle their finances, a conservatorship of the estate is established to make decisions concerning finances and other assets.
- A conservator for the person is granted if the conservatee is unable to physically care for themselves.
It is not uncommon for the same person to handle both types of conservatorships.
Who Can Petition the Court to Select a Conservator/Guardian?
Be sure to check with a Chandler, Arizona power of attorney lawyer knowledgeable in conservatorships for the requirements and procedures in Arizona. In general, these people or agencies can ask the court to select a guardian:
- The elderly person can request a guardian
- The elderly person’s spouse
- Relatives of the elderly individual
- The elderly person’s friend
- A local or state government agency
Because the elderly person is giving up many of their rights and has to trust someone else to take care of them and their assets, the conservator process is complex and can take a considerable amount of time. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to work with us moving forward. Steps may include:
- Filing a request in court to appoint a conservator. This petition needs to contain the elderly individual’s name, the petitioner’s name, a list of the elderly person’s relatives, and why they feel it necessary to appoint a guardian. It also must be noted why they are not pursuing other alternatives to guardianship, such as a durable power of attorney, the presence or absence of a living trust, and if the elderly person is receiving government benefits or not. (If they are, they can appoint someone to oversee this income).
- Notifying the elderly person and any of their family that a petition was filed for conservatorship.
- The court performs an investigation to decide the necessity of a conservatorship.
- The judge requires a hearing where they will hear statements, discuss the petition, and decide whether the individual is able to take care of themselves and approves or disapproves the petition.
Contact an Attorney
The process for obtaining conservatorship for an elderly loved one is difficult and the ramifications are serious. If the elderly individual still has the mental capacity to do so, creating a durable power of attorney or a living will offer the opportunity to choose a preferred guardian and give them more say in their care should there come a time where they are unable to do so for themselves. Enlist the assistance of an AZ Power of Attorney Lawyer from Citadel Law Firm, PLLC with experience in elder law and conservatorships to explain the process and available avenues you may pursue.