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Planning ahead can ease the conservatorship process

When a person reaches a certain point in life, certain tasks may no longer be possible as the result of health concerns or aging. In addition to physical limitations, people may lose the ability to manage their own medical and financial affairs. This is when a court may step in to start the conservatorship process, which puts one person in charge of making important decisions on another person's behalf.

Dealing with limitations near the end of life may be scary and frustrating, and understandably so. However, this is something a person can help address through careful planning, so the process of appointing a conservator can proceed on his or her terms.

One of the first steps a person can take is to name a preferred conservator. Taking the time to select a person who can be trusted and is willing to take on the responsibility can ease anxieties created by invoking conservatorship. One observer notes that courts will typically accept whoever has been nominated as conservator.

Additionally, it may be helpful for Michigan residents to understand how state law defines whether or not someone has the capacity to manage his or her personal affairs. By doing so, a person can be aware of what circumstances will cause a conservator to be put in place.

Dealing with end-of-life issues is never the most pleasant experience, but it's something everyone might have to deal with at some point. Of course, no two people have identical needs in terms of estate planning. This is why it's helpful to seek advice in order to determine the most effective steps to help address life's unexpected events.

Source: LifeHealthPro.com, "Preparing for a conservatorship," Tom Nawrocki, Feb. 4, 2014

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