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A Guardian For Yourself: Choosing, Communicating With

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Guardian For Yourself

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In most states you can name any adult to be your guardian.

  • Clearly you should only name someone you trust absolutely. Even though a court oversees guardians, a guardian can do a lot of damage and make ill advised transactions that would severely damage you or your financial interests.
  • The person does not have to be a lawyer or even financially savvy as long as the person has good judgment in hiring the appropriate professionals.
  • The person should have a good understanding of the areas in which he or she will be given decision-making powers.
  • You should generally name someone who knows you well. The better the agent knows you and your family, the more likely his or her actions will reflect your opinions and values.
  • Preferably the person is not someone who has conflicts with your spouse, significant other, or children.
  • The person's background should be able to withstand close examination by a judge. The court will probably check to see if the person is reputable. Any kind of criminal record can disqualify the person from serving as guardian.
  • Ideally the person is the same person you appoint as your Proxy under your Health Care Power Of Attorney so there is no conflict in carrying out your wishes.
  • If you have children, consider whether the person should also be guardian for your children.

Consider naming multiple agents who must agree in order to exercise powers. This will allow for a system of checks and balances between them and make it more likely that your best interest will remain paramount. On the other hand, this arrangement may also slow things down if something has to move quickly

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