Advanced Medical Directives (e.g., living wills)
A living will outlines a person's wishes about medical treatments that sustain or prolong life while they are in a coma or a persistent vegetative state. If a person is in this type of condition, doctors will refer to his or her living will to determine whether or not the patient wishes to stay on life support or to be removed from it. This legal document prevents your family from having to make the difficult decision, and prevents arguments and alienation among family members, each of whom may have different ideas about which actions to take.

Other terms for living wills are advance directive, healthcare directive and physician's directive, but each serve the same purpose of informing health care professionals of the wishes concerning long-term life-sustaining care

Guardianship and Conservatorship
A guardianship is a legal proceeding in which an individual is appointed to provide for an incapacitated person. A guardian appointed by a court can be a burdensome and expensive process. The person needing the guardians help is called the "ward." The guardian is the person with the power to make decisions about the ward's person. Guardian types include:

  • Limited guardianship - legal abilities are limited because the person needing the guardian's help (the ward) can make some, but not all, decisions.
  • Plenary guardianship the guardian can make all decisions for a ward's personal care and finances. It is a broad scope of power.
  • Temporary guardianship - used for emergencies. The guardian's power is limited to a short period of time.
  • Successor guardianship - this is the replacement guardian. This is used primarily if the first guardian resigns or can't continue serving due to death or illness.
  • Standby guardianship - allows a court to provide a backup guardian, to quickly change between guardians which limits the gaps in caring for a ward's needs.
  • Testamentary guardianship - a guardian can name a successor in their will, say to care for an adult disabled child. The court needs to approve the successor, but usually follows the will unless it finds the nominee isn't fit to serve.
  • Short-term guardianship If a guardian needs an alternate guardian to fill in, they can use this short-term guardian. It is not permanent.

"Conservatorship" refers to the person with responsibility for a ward's property and finances.



Revocable Living Trust

Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Helping the Elderly with Finances: When to Step In

    Knowing when to take over the financial affairs of elderly parents can be difficult. Here are six signs to look out for.
  2. Managing Wealth

    Three Documents You Shouldn't Do Without

    Estate planning is not just about the division of assets after you die. Read on to save your loved ones extra grief.
  3. Retirement

    Which Estate Transfer Technique is Right for You?

    This article explains the difference between the two estate transfer methods -- a will and a trust, and the circumstances under which each can be used.
  4. Managing Wealth

    Why You Should Draft A Will

    Don't trust the courts to follow your wishes - plan the distribution of your own assets.
  5. Investing

    4 Famous People Whose Finances Were Under Conservatorship

    Understand what conservatorship is and how it comes about during the legal process. Learn about four celebrities who were placed under conservatorship.
  6. Financial Advisor

    How to Help Clients Plan for a Special Needs Child

    A special needs child demands extra diligence in planning. Here's a guide to best practices.
  7. Investing

    Italy’s Banking Crisis: Is The First Domino Falling?

    The nation's biggest bank, Unicredit, is cutting 14,000 jobs and scrambling to raise $14 billion in new capital
  8. Retirement

    Retirement Savings Plans For Kids

    It's never too early to save for the future - learn how your children can get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Where else can I save for retirement after I max out my Roth IRA?

    The first option to explore is to determine if you can contribute to a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan at work. If your employer ...
  2. How did George Soros "break the Bank of England"?

    In Britain, Black Wednesday (September 16, 1992) is known as the day that speculators broke the pound. They didn't actually ...
  3. What counts as "debts" and "income" when calculating my debt-to-income (DTI) ratio?

    It's important to know your debt-to-income ratio because it's the figure lenders use to measure your ability to repay the ...
  4. Who are Monsanto's main competitors?

    Learn about Monsanto Company's two main operating divisions and its main competitors within each sector, including The Mosaic ...
Trading Center