There are various different things to consider when you are planning your estate. It is not strictly about arranging for the transfer of your financial assets after you pass away. During the latter portion of your life it is possible that you could become unable to make sound decisions. If you do not account for this possibility, interested parties can initiate a Cincinnati guardianship proceeding.
In Ohio, when an adult cannot make sound decisions on his or her own, the probate court can appoint a guardian to handle the affairs of the incapacitated party. The incompetent individual in question would become a ward.
There are reasons why you would want to avoid a guardianship hearing. For one thing, the guardian that is chosen may not be the individual that you would have selected if you had the opportunity to make a choice when you were in full control of your faculties.
Another thing to understand about a guardianship proceeding is the fact that it can take time. If a competent decision-maker is needed immediately this can pose a problem.
There is also the matter of concurrence among family members. Multiple people may have an interest in the outcome, and they may not all agree on the details. More than one family member may want to act as guardian, and this can create acrimony. This can cause a long and drawn out guardianship proceeding.
In the state of Ohio, a conservatorship is something that you can create when you are of sound mind. You can nominate your own conservator. The court would ultimately have to approve the conservatorship and confirm that the request was not coerced. The court would also determine if the proposed conservator was suitable.
To sum it up, a competent person can request a conservatorship, but with a guardianship the individual in question must be incompetent.
Avoiding a Cincinnati Guardianship Proceeding
You can avoid a guardianship proceeding by including an incapacity component within your broader estate plan. This is usually going to involve the execution of documents called Durable Powers of Attorney.
With a Durable Power of Attorney you empower an agent to make decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. A Standard Power of Attorney does not remain in effect if the grantor becomes incapacitated. A Durable Power of Attorney will stay in effect upon the incapacitation of the grantor.
You could create a Durable Power of Attorney for health care and name an agent to make your medical decisions if it becomes necessary. A Financial Durable Power of Attorney could be included as well to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to handle them yourself because you are incapacitated. If you need more information, let someone on our team guide you through this process. Please call 513.721.1513 for a consultation.