Judge Steele, who has taken over guardianship is having a guardianship bench bar meeting this Monday. The purpose of the meeting is for the judge and attorneys interested in guardianship to get together and discuss procedure, laws, etc. I find these bench bar meetings very useful as I can ask general questions and so can others. It is also a way to meet others who handle guardianship cases in a different setting.
There was an interesting article in Fox News recently about adult guardianship. According to the article Peter Falk had dementia, his second wife had control and the kids from the first wife were shut out.
It is very stressful when a parent can no longer take care of their affairs and a guardian is needed. Many times the children cannot agree on 1) if a guardianship is needed and 2) who will be guardian. That is when one person files a Petition for Guardianship pursuant to NRS 159. Once a petition is filed all family members have to be notified of the hearing to establish guardianship. At that hearing the court will determine if a guardianship is needed and who the guardian will be. With the proper planning the guardianship process can be made easier. There are two things people can do to make this stage of life easier on loved ones.
1. Everyone should have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, sometime called a living will. This form allows a person to specify what medical decisions they do and do not want made in the event that they can not make those decisions themselves. A person can also specify who they want to be as their guardian.
2. Estate planning is important as once a guardianship is established all disbursements are supposed to be approved by the court. However, assets in a trust are owned by the trust not the beneficiary and thus may be outside the jurisdiction of the court.
3. Consider creating a trust. A trust serves two purposes 1) estate planning and 2) asset protection. Depending on a person’s situation some times a trust is recommended and sometimes it is not. There is a big difference between an asset protection trust and an estate planning trust.
If you have any questions, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss your situation and options.