Whether you are still a Lockheed Martin employee or have retired, having a Declaration of Guardian as part of your Estate Planning documents is important.  Many people think their estate planning documents are complete by having their Will and Power of Attorney’s in place, but even though a Declaration of Guardian is rarely used, it can play a critical role in your future.  

First, let’s define a Declaration of Guardian. It is a legal document drafted by an attorney that is signed and notarized. The document specifies whom you wish to serve as your guardian later in life should the need arise.  In legal terms, guardianship is a legal relationship between a competent adult (the “guardian”) and a person who has been declared incompetent (the “ward”). The guardian can be authorized to make legal, financial, and health care decisions for the ward. Depending on the terms of the guardianship and state practices, the guardian may or may not have to seek court approval for various decisions.

Second, in order to establish guardianship, the person requesting it must petition the court. Then there will be a hearing. The pending ward can either hire an attorney or have one appointed so that both sides are represented fairly.  In most states, anyone interested in the proposed ward’s well-being can request a guardianship. Should the court rule that the ward is incompetent and does in fact need a legal guardian, then this is where the ward’s Declaration of Guardian document comes into play. By having this legal document in place, the court can easily appoint the listed person as guardian. 

Finally, this is not to be confused with a Power of Attorney. If guardianship is awarded, the ward’s rights have been limited.  A ward has no power to decide how money is spent or managed, where to live and what medical care he or she should receive. Wards also may not have the right to vote, marry or divorce, or carry a driver’s license. The guardian must also file regular, detailed reports with the court and gain permission from the court to execute certain financial transactions. With a Power of Attorney, no rights have been affected but rather the agent is only acting on behalf of the other person. No reports must be filed with a court and no additional record keeping is required.  

The Declaration of Guardian is a standard part of a Will package you can get from an estate planning attorney.  To learn more about adult guardianship in Texas, click HERE. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your situation, please let us know. Part of our comprehensive financial planning is to ensure our clients have their estate protected. We have Lockheed Martin specialists standing by and ready to assist.  Give us a call today at 817-210-3444 or click HERE to book a complimentary consultation.

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Be sure and check back next week for more incredibly valuable information. Cheers!

Disclosures*

Financial Planning and Investment Advisory offered by SWMG, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor.

This blog is being provided and sponsored by Strittmatter Wealth Management Group, LLC. Lockheed Martin and its subsidiaries do not endorse, recommend, or make representations with respect to any information, advice, services, or products discussed in this blog. 

Lockheed Martin Retirement Specialist is not an official title or professional designation nor is it conferred by Lockheed Martin on any individual or company.

Our Complementary consultation and free report are for informational purposes only and provided free without any obligation to utilize or retain our investment advisory services.

SMWG, LLC is not affiliated with or endorsed by Lockheed Martin Corporation. Our expertise comes from working with LMT employees for several years and helping them to retire with confidence.

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