In last week’s post, I shared a few ways to provide support with estate planning to a family member or loved one with mental health challenges. Here are 3 more ways you may be able to support them, depending on their specific situation:
• Consider a guardianship. If this family member or loved one does not have the necessary capacity to sign legal documents, a guardianship for this person may be needed. There are two types of guardianships. Guardianship over someone’s assets, often called a conservatorship, involves someone making decisions over things such as their accounts and real estate. Guardianship can also be over the person themself, and a guardian may make decisions about where the individual lives as well as decisions about doctors and medications.
• Find the right type of guardianship for the situation. Guardianships (and conservatorships) can be limited in nature. Your family member may need help with some things, such as finding housing or caregivers, but be able to take care of most other things in their day-to-day life on their own. In this type of case, a limited guardianship may be recommended. A conservator might also oversee a large brokerage account or something along those lines, but the individual may have a small account and debit card that they use for daily expenses.
• Create a circle of support. There can be more safety in numbers. A circle of people around your loved one is often the best safety net to prevent any one person from having control over them and potentially abusing or financially exploiting them. This support network may include family members or close friends, their doctors, a lawyer, and potentially a caseworker or other member of the community. Being surrounded by caring individuals can help them feel more supported and will hopefully alleviate some of the stresses in their life.
For assistance with your estate plan, contact us at Wilson and Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC at 708 482 7090 for our main office in LaGrange, Illinois or at 847 656 8958 for our Northbrook, Illinois office.