Life is anything but predictable. We can move through most of our days carefree and healthy, but it can take just one wrong decision or one unfortunate turn of events to change everything. Injury or illness can leave you incapacitated in a way you may have never planned for; that lack of planning may affect how you live the rest of your life.
At The Brown Law Firm, LLC, we encourage our clients to name specific agents in their medical and financial durable powers of attorney to handle their health care and financial decisions for them in the event they cannot make those decisions for themselves. This is the only way to avoid court intervention on your behalf (in most cases). Without detailed instructions about who you want caring for you and your estate, the courts will likely be required to appoint a guardian and/or a conservator for you.
- Guardian: person appointed by the court to protect your well-being and personal care if you are incapacitated
- Conservator: person appointed by the court to protect your financial affairs and estate if you are incapacitated
You may or may not agree with the court’s decision – a helpless feeling if you are unable to speak your mind. If court hearings are required, this can become a lengthy and expensive process.
Internal Conflicts May Muddy the Waters
In the event there are conflicts among your family members in regard to your nominated medical/financial agents, the court may have to step in to appoint a guardian or conservator on your behalf. Court intervention may also be necessary if there is concern that the individuals you have chosen are not making the best decisions for you – or if they are not making clear decisions for you.
For this reason it is important to reassess your powers of attorney to make any changes to your agents which you feel are necessary. For example, you may want to appoint a different agent under power of attorney if:
- You are no longer close to that individual or you have had a falling out
- You feel that individual is making unhealthy decisions for their own lives
- You disagree with that person’s views
- You have become closer to a different person you would want to make those decisions
- You know that your choice will cause a rift within your family
- The person you have chosen does not want this responsibility or their life has become too complicated
- The individual you have named has passed away
To learn more about conservatorships and guardianships in Denver, contact The Brown Law Firm, LLC, to arrange an appointment: (303) 339-3750 or visit our website. We can also help you draft a will in Denver that will protect you and your estate.