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This document could protect New York residents from guardianship

Estate planning often prioritizes the legacy someone leaves when they die, but people can draft an assortment of documents that achieve a number of different goals. Often, people plan for their financial and medical needs during retirement in addition to providing should occur after their death.

People can put together long-term care plans, take special steps to protect vulnerable assets and potentially even plan for the possibility of future incapacitation. Some people eventually experience a medical emergency. They might develop a severe illness or suffer a traumatic injury that leaves them unconscious or unable to communicate on their own behalf.

There’s also the possibility that someone’s health and cognitive functions may decline as they age, leaving them unable to act in their own best interests. In that situation, family members or even caregiving professionals might try to obtain a guardianship over a vulnerable New York adult. One special estate planning document can help protect people from involuntary guardianship.

Durable powers of attorney provide lasting protection

Powers of attorney are documents that allow adults to name someone trustworthy to serve as their attorney-in-fact or agent in an emergency. They can designate another adult to manage their finances and take charge of their medical care.

A standard power of attorney takes effect when someone becomes incapacitated due to an injury or illness. It eventually loses authority when that person dies or recovers from their medical condition. It could also become ineffective if the courts declare someone permanently incapacitated.

Thankfully, it is possible to include special terminology in a power of attorney to make it a durable document. A durable power of attorney continues to have legal authority even after someone’s permanent incapacitation. It is only their death or recovery that would invalidate the documents. Instead of receiving support from whoever decides to request guardianship, someone can ostensibly name their own guardian with durable power of attorney documents.

The more difficult situations that someone addresses in their estate planning documents, the more protection they may gain from life’s uncertainties. As such, adding the right paperwork to a New York estate plan can make a major difference for someone concerned about their security and comfort as they age.

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