It is common for people to think about young children when they think about guardianships. However, some older individuals may also need guardians if they face mental decline or other issues that lead to an inability to make certain decisions for themselves. Fortunately, estate planning can help address this issue, but if Maryland residents do not plan thoroughly, they could overlook this important matter.
It may be worthwhile for individuals to consider setting up living trusts in efforts to avoid guardianships. If a person loses the ability to make decisions for him or herself, the court could appoint a guardian to make those decisions. On the other hand, if someone sets up a living trust and appoints a successor trustee, that trustee can take over in the event of incapacitation or incompetence.
A living trust can allow a person to act as the trustee and protect assets while still having the mental fortitude to do so. It can also give the trustmaker more control over what will happen to his or her assets and who will take control if a change of management is needed. Planning to avoid guardianship can help prevent individuals from having someone take control who they may not have wanted.
While guardianship is not necessarily a bad thing, it can still result in a scenario that a person did not want. As a result, it is important for Maryland residents to consider the possibility of losing certain abilities and how they can use estate planning to address that concern. Discussing the protection of assets and how a living trust could help avoid guardianship with knowledgeable attorneys may be useful.