Estate planning includes being prepared for the care of our affairs, not only when we are gone, but while we are living. One way to accomplish this without court involvement may be through the use of Powers of Attorney for our finances and healthcare. However, many of us become incapacitated or otherwise ineligible to execute such a document. In these instances, caring family or loved ones can petition the court to appoint a guardianship and/or conservatorship to protect an individual's health and assets, respectively. It is important to know when these options may be necessary.
Many of us are concerned that a loved one, e.g., a parent, grandparent, or disabled child reaching the age of 18, may need help making decisions for them. However, many of us do not always know what to look for in determining whether someone requires a guardian/conservator.
For example, some individuals may have a medical condition affecting them mentally or otherwise, which may require medical or financial assistance. In some of these cases however, these same individuals possess the cognitive ability and willingness to seek professional help in maintaining their health, as well as their assets; despite coping with their condition. Unless these individuals request it, they may not need a guardianship or conservatorship; or, if they require one, it may only be on a limited basis.
Where there lies greater concern is when an individual's condition compromises their ability to make or communicate informed decisions for their well-being and cannot reach for help on their own. This condition may also pose concern that assets will be wasted or dissipated unless protection of a court-ordered fiduciary is made available.
Families and loved ones should discuss these options to care for one another when health concerns arise. Contact Gee Law for a consultation on what to look for and possible courses of action based on your circumstances.
We all know people who are either just starting a business venture or have been doing so with fellow investors or partners for quite some time. Unfortunately, many of these people we know have embarked on these business ventures without a plan. Because they did not have a plan to deal with contingencies, partners often reach an impasse on important decisions regarding how to go forward with a particular business opportunity, putting the business at a costly standstill. This is especially true with businesses formed by multiple investors or partners.
A specific example of the risk behind engaging in a joint venture without a written agreement arises when one partner or investor starts a business with the ambition for it to become his/her specific line of work; while the others investors, lacking the same level of participation and commitment, demand an equal share of the company's value or profits. Consequently, the more focused partner often ends up doing most of the work, yet the benefits are shared equally.
The solution is for prospective investors in a business to engage in a written agreement, e.g., partnership, member or shareholder agreements. This way, all members agree upfront and in advance on how decisions will be made, the level of commitment expected between members, and even how disputes will be resolved. So before you invest in a business, invest in a plan. This will maintain relationships with your fellow investors and ensure you business is in the best position to grow and last successfully!