The legal authority to act for another person regarding both personal and financial matters.
Guardianship and Trusteeship provides someone with legal authority to act for another person regarding both personal and financial matters.
It is necessary to go to court to obtain these powers. Many steps cost money and take time, and an experienced estate planning lawyer will guide you efficiently through the process.
If you become mentally incapacitated and you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive in your estate plan, a family member will have to apply to the Court to be appointed as your Guardian and Trustee in order to make decisions on your behalf.
The Difference Between Guardianship and Trusteeship
Trusteeship allows someone to make financial decisions for an adult that does not have the capacity to make their own decisions regarding:
- Managing their property, finances and investments
- Paying their bills or education
Guardianship allows someone to make non-financial personal decisions for an adult that does not have the capacity to make their own decisions regarding their:
- Social activities
- Where and with whom they live
- Participation in social, recreational and employment activities
- Legal proceedings that are not financial
Usually, these powers are obtained together during the court process so that the person holding the Guardianship and Trustee can act on most matters for the incapacitated person. The court may also appoint more than one person for this role to act jointly or separately, and the court has the authority to expand or restrict these powers. Courts also have the authority to make changes to Guardianship and Trustee orders in many situations. Some of these include:
- There is a significant change in the incapacitated person’s needs, including an improved condition, so they no longer need someone to help them.
- The Guardian is no longer able to carry out their duties or has acted improperly.
Guardianship and Trusteeships are an Integral Component of Estate Planning for People with Disabilities
If you have a disabled child who needs care beyond turning 18 years old, applying to the Court for Guardianship and Trusteeship will ensure you have the authority you require to make decisions after your child turns 18.