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Who Makes Health Care Decisions If You Can't?

What happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to voice your opinion on your health care? If you don’t have a health care proxy or guardian in place, state law chooses who can make those decisions.

Be Careful Not to Name Minors as Your Beneficiaries

Most people want to pass their assets to their children or grandchildren, but naming a minor as a beneficiary can have unintended consequences. It is important to make a plan that doesn’t involve leaving assets directly to a minor.  

The Hazards of Do-it-Yourself Estate Planning

Many websites offer customized, do-it-yourself wills and other estate planning documents.  Although these products are convenient, using them could create serious and expensive legal problems for heirs. 

The Ins and Outs of Guardianship and Conservatorship

Every adult is assumed to be capable of making his or her own decisions unless a court determines otherwise. If an adult becomes incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute decision maker, usually called a “guardian,” but called a “conservator” or another term in some states. Guardianship is a legal relationship between a competent adult (the … Read More

Who Should Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance?

Buying long-term care insurance is one way to protect against the high cost of long-term care. However, this type of insurance may not be for everyone, so consider all your options. Long-term care – care in a nursing home or at home — may be paid for in four main ways: Out-of-pocket. If you have sufficient resources, you can pay … Read More

What to Do If You Are Appointed Guardian of an Older Adult

Being appointed guardian of a loved one is a serious responsibility. As guardian, you are in charge of your loved one’s well-being and you have a duty to act in his or her best interest. If an adult becomes mentally incapacitated and is incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute decision maker, often called a “guardian,” … Read More

Avoid Living Probate: How to Keep Guardians and Conservators Out of Your Estate

Proper Preparation Allows You to Keep Control While most proactive individuals know the importance of having a well-rounded estate plan, it is typically considered as something that will take effect after they have passed away. But there are in fact many ways in which comprehensive estate planning can have a positive impact on your life while you are still around … Read More