Peter Karlsson has experience from young to old with adoptions, guardianships, and conservatorships.
As the population ages and needs for help increase there is a need for more fiduciary services (persons in a position of trust). Guardianships (for help with personal decisions) and conservatorships (for help with estate management) are in demand for those unable to make and communicate responsible decisions for themselves.
There are a number of opportunities to create an estate succession plan. We can talk about personal goals and family needs and an estimate of costs. Some of the tools available are:
- health care directives,
- powers of attorney,
- transfers on death deeds.
Did you know you can use a health care directive to give your health care agent authority to decide where you will live when you cannot speak for yourself?
One of the powers you have under the law is to appoint a health care agent. Your agent can make all decisions or you can make your preferences known up front. An alternative is to use a power of attorney. This is a useful tool to grant a trusted friend or family member the authority for many of your day to day decisions. There are drawbacks, though, which should be discussed with an attorney before using this estate planning tool.
Non-traditional families have the same needs and concerns as traditional families.
Adoptions and estate planning services for non-traditional families are provided, and welcomed. With the passage of same sex marriage in Minnesota there are now opportunities for same sex couples to take advantage of this legal blessing.
An example is the right to apply the laws for stepparent adoptions. Married second parents now have a path for full parental rights as a matter of law. Courageous judges have stepped up in the past to approve second parent adoptions. Now a non-biological parent has a new legal status as a stepparent! From there an adoption for full parental rights is a “step” closer (sorry) and more definitive.