Does My Will Protect Me From A Conservatorship?
Example today of what happens to your stuff if you have a valid and legal will. Alright, so you’ve made a will online or you made a will by going to anywhere and actually making the will. And it’s valid and legal in this example. So the question is, what happens?
How does it work? Well, let’s go through life. Let’s just say you have a stroke, right? And you find yourself in the hospital and you’re now incapacitated. The question is who’s going to handle your affairs? Right?
We have something in place in the law books called a conservatorship. That is basically an adult guardianship. It’s just a court process that allows somebody to get into your shoes and make decisions on your behalf, whether it’s for health, whether it’s for finances, it doesn’t really matter. But you need to go to court in order to do this.
So what’s so bad about this and why is it necessary? Let’s go first, why is it even necessary? Well, you have assets in your name only. There’s assets in your spouse’s name only, and then there’s jointly held assets. Now, anything in this bucket over here needs a signature by you and you can’t sign because you’re legally incapacitated.
So you need to go to court to get something called letters, letters are powers to sign for somebody else. When you do that, you are now able to worry about this. You don’t have to, this could still be done by your wife, she’s or your spouse. She could do all of this no problem. And if you want to sell or get a mortgage, or use any of these accounts, you also need your signature. So we need a conservatorship or a court proceeding for that. So what’s so bad about a conservatorship? Why do we want to avoid the courts?
Well, let me tell you about how much of a nightmare conservatorships are, first of all, it takes a long time to file these things. You got to prepare, got to go to court, just because you file it doesn’t mean you’re appointed. Now all the family members need notice. And then once you give family members notice, some of them spring up and say I want to be in control instead, or I want to be in control.
And then you have a fight in court just for control. We haven’t even started helping him in any way helping yourself in any way. Because we don’t even have somebody in control. And it ends up being time consuming. It ends up being expensive. Each one has their own attorney that they have to pay for. You may need your money to pay for its own attorney called a PV. Not my will, it will pay for its own attorney called a PvP attorney that the court appoints to guard your interests because there’s two people fighting with different interests.
And the court wants to make sure that you’re well represented so there’s a third attorney there, so or before if there’s three people fighting over it, and all of that is just going to add more and more cost and time. So we talked about and you know, court fees, you’re gonna have to pay the court to do this. There’s accounting fees once you’re appointed every year you have to file an accounting every two years and that is just going to be super costly. Now, a plain vanilla conservatorship where everything goes well, and nothing. There’s no one contesting anything you do and you just running through the procedure is going to cost about $10,000. Now if you’re, you’re fighting within this to get control or there’s, there’s you you’ve sold something that someone who disagreed with and you didn’t do everything properly. You’re talking about 30 $40,000 a year on a conservatorship. It is crazy.