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How to Avoid Guardianship
When a person becomes permanently disabled, he or she usually needs a guardian or conservator unless effective disability planning documents are in place. When a court guardianship is imposed, the individual judged to be incapacitated loses autonomy. The procedure can be expensive, frustrating and time-consuming.
Guardianship can, in most cases, be avoided with the following five legal documents:
A comprehensive financial durable power of attorney
A comprehensive medical power of attorney or proxy
A comprehensive living will that states preferences as to end-of-life care
Medical information privacy releases compliant with the regulations required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
A revocable living trust when sufficient assets are involved.