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A guardianship is a party that’s legally appointed to handle an individual’s decisions. So if you think of minor children, for instance, it’s very important to nominate a guardian should a mom or dad or mom and dad pass on. It’s very important to nominate a successor and then ultimately, those parties are formally appointed by the court. So the more that you have with your succession plan of guardians for minor children the more confidence that your intent will be adhered to by the court.
Guardianships are also there for parties that are either incapacitated or disabled. And the problem with guardianships and conservatorships are that many times they can be costly and time consuming. So some of the planning that we do is to incorporate powers of attorney health care directives so that you can legally appoint a party to handle your affairs either financial or medical with the expectation of possibly avoiding a guardianship or a conservatorship.
The most common situation we have is properly nominating a guardian or guardians in a will for minor children.
Eden Prairie, MN Estate Planning Attorney David Ness explains what a guardianship is and why it is so important to estate planning.