Establishing a Comprehensive Estate Plan as the Guardian of an Adult with a Disability

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Establishing a Comprehensive Estate Plan as the Guardian of an Adult with a Disability

Disable people are often at a disadvantage in our society. They are ignored and are at the back end of consideration when it comes to providing facilities.

When, in reality, it should be the other way around. They deserve all the help they can get and should be assisted even more without a shred of pity. After all, you do not want to hurt their self-esteem.

For this sole purpose, even adults striving in this world with some disability must be helped in any way possible, especially legal matters, i.e., the legal course of action regarding their estate.

Matters like how it should be done and, most importantly, who should be the one to do it, are significant. The “who” is titled as the guardian and is presented for the person with special needs in front of a court where they are legally appointed.

The guardian can essentially take care of the following things in a smart manner.

Drafting a Will

The laws regarding a will vary from state to state. There are only seven states yet, which enable a guardian to make a will for the disabled person.

However, if any of the allowing states consider it, it has to be ensured that the owner approves it primarily. No legal document is processed if a signed approval from the person is not provided in the courthouse.

Handling The Medical Aspect

As the handler of the assets, the guardian will also decide where the actual owner should get his or her treatment. Or how much should be spent?

It is common speculation that a person with a disability will be less likely to pursue the best medical attention for themselves. It can either be why they do not pay attention to themselves or even that they might have given up on themselves.

Having someone else take these decisions can help analyze the financial position and the ward’s health status more practically.

Financial Aspect

A guardian has many responsibilities. It also includes how and where to spend their money. Though the actual owner will have exclusive rights, the guardian will also get a power of attorney to make decisions. 

It allows some urgent transactions to be made if the person cannot do it at the given time. 

Moreover, it becomes significantly hard for a person with a disability to take care of the bills and keep the books in order. Therefore, having someone to take care of it is a good idea. 

The guardian’s job is to make sure that the record of every single penny is in order as they have authority over it. However, guardians are still prohibited from making any sale or gift deeds. 

If the situation demands, a guardian can consult an estate litigation attorney to find a way out of this situation.  

Set Up A Trust

The guardian could offer the ward’s extra or unwanted belongings to a trust. It is always wiser and noble to offer it to an organization where it can be used to its full extent. It could be done by donating the belongings or creating a trust.

In this way, all the things that will go in the trust would legally still be the same person’s property. It releases the stress from both parties’ minds and allows the estate to be used for a good cause.

Hiring a Legal Counsel

No doubt being a guardian is a demanding responsibility. It’s hard to make decisions for yourself, let alone for someone else, especially when their estate is on the line. So, it is wise to hire an attorney to assist you in the process.

An estate litigation attorney can help you in understanding the entire process. The attorney will also represent you in the court’s hearings.

Hiring an attorney has several benefits. They have more experience and can foresee the upcoming problems that a layperson would ever be able to see. They are also well-versed with the nuances of the law.

However, getting a legal counsel on board will require a court’s approval, and the procedure is not a cakewalk. Hence, it should most likely be your last resort.

Final words

Being a guardian to a disabled person is not an easy job. A lot is riding on your shoulders. It is because you will always be accountable for every good and bad decision taken regarding the ward’s assets.

But the good thing is that if you are dedicated, you can do ace your responsibilities. You have to keep the interests of the ward above everything else and take the right steps.

And even if you are not a pro, some people make a living out of helping guardians. One should never forget, though, with great power comes great responsibility!