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Are Guardianship and Estate Planning the Same Thing? – Discussed by a Kansas Guardianship Lawyer

Are Guardianship and Estate Planning the Same Thing? – Discussed by a Kansas Guardianship Lawyer
September 1, 2016 LS_admin

When considering protecting yourself or your assets, the amount of information and terminology available can be overwhelming. Knowing what types of protection, documents and legal appointments you need is difficult if you are not a legal professional or well educated on each subject. Many elderly individuals reach a point in their life where they require additional help because they can no longer adequately attend to themselves. Depending on a person’s circumstances and needs necessary care may include financial management as well as physical assistance to ensure their well-being is also being monitored. Estate planning and guardianship are two common terms that arise when the discussion of personal care is discussed. Both were created to protect and provide for an individual, yet in very different ways, so it is important to understand the distinctions when choosing one or both to put in place.

What Protection Estate Planning Affords

Estate planning can encompass a range of legal implementations that ensure a person’s estate, or assets, are properly disseminated and managed after their death. A will can be created that states where and to whom specific assets will be distributed upon the death of a person. Estate planning can also include a trust, which can be managed while the individual is alive by an executor of your estate. The crux of estate planning is to provide a benefit to beneficiaries, who are people other than the creator of the trust themselves. Estate planning can also afford a person ways to protect yourself while you are still living should anything happen to you through a power of attorney or a health care directive.

 What Role Guardianship Plays in Caring for a Loved One

In comparison, guardianship is designed to afford responsibility for an individual while they are still living yet are in need of care. Minor children, adults who have reached an elderly age or have special needs often require additional supervision due to varying levels of capacity or competency. Guardianship is established through the court system and appoints a trusted adult to make decisions on the person in needs’ behalf. The court appoints a guardian after a petition has been filed and according to the judge’s discretion based on their assessment of the person’s need at a scheduled hearing. A guardian is afforded many rights and responsibilities that center on providing care to meet the needs of the individual and make decisions based on their best interest. Family members often assume the role of guardian to their relatives but any adult who is reliable and willing may act as guardian of a person in need.

Contact a Helpful Kansas Guardianship Attorney Today

Kansas Guardianship Attorney Tom McDowell has decades of experience helping families care for their loved ones. If you feel guardianship is the appropriate next step for your loved one, he looks forward to answering your questions and successfully helping you to establish guardianship. Call Kansas Guardianship Lawyer Tom McDowell, at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today (316) 633-4322 to see how he can help you approach the guardianship process successfully.

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