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How can I avoid being placed under a professional guardian?

Ali Katz


Q: How can I avoid being placed under the care of a professional guardian?

—Senior Planner

A: Dear Planner,

Should you become incapacitated without any planning in place, your family would have to petition the court in order to be granted guardianship. In most cases, the court would appoint a family member as guardian, but this isn’t always the case.

If you have no living family members, or those you do have are unwilling or unable to serve or deemed unsuitable by the court, a professional guardian would be appointed. In another scenario, should your loved ones disagree about who should be your guardian, the court could decide that naming a relative as your guardian would be too disruptive to your family dynamics and appoint a professional guardian instead.

You can avoid this using estate planning. With proper planning, upon your incapacity, a person of your choice would have the immediate authority to make your medical, financial, and legal decisions, without the need for court intervention. Moreover, you can provide clear guidance about your wishes, so there’s no mistake about how these decisions should be made.

Meet with a Personal Family Lawyer® to create your comprehensive incapacity plan today.