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Tampa Estate Planning Attorneys > Blog > Estate Planning > Dealing With Cognitive Impairments? Tampa Estate Planning Documents Help Avoid Guardianship Proceedings

Dealing With Cognitive Impairments? Tampa Estate Planning Documents Help Avoid Guardianship Proceedings

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Most people value their independence and the ability to chart their own course through life. Unfortunately, cognitive impairments can happen for a variety of reasons and may quickly derail your plans.

As your condition progresses, friends and family are likely to have serious, often valid concerns about your ability to care for yourself or make your own decisions. Our Tampa estate planning attorney explains how having the appropriate legal documents in place can help prevent guardianship proceedings.

Guardianship Proceedings For People With Cognitive Impairments

Cognitive impairments become more common as you age or may be attributed to medications you are taking or fluctuating hormone levels. They can also occur due to head injuries, strokes, high blood pressure, respiratory issues, Alzheimer’s disease, and other disorders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 16 million people throughout the United States suffer from some type of cognitive impairment. Symptoms include:

  • Memory loss;
  • Poor judgment;
  • Increased confusion;
  • Problems communicating thoughts;
  • Not following through on tasks;
  • Vision problems.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how they progress over the years, your family and friends may reach a point where they feel guardianship proceedings are needed. This is when the court appoints someone to act on your behalf in making decisions about your finances, healthcare, home, and other aspects of your life.

Tampa Estate Planning Documents To Prevent Guardianship

Guardianship proceedings in Tampa are held through the Hillsborough County Court and are part of the public record. Aside from the valid concerns most people have about protecting their privacy, it is not pleasant to think of someone having any type of legal control or authority over you.

If you struggle with cognitive impairments, putting the appropriate estate planning documents in place can help prevent this from happening. In addition to a will, these should include:

  • Powers of attorney, authorizing someone you trust to make important decisions on your behalf and according to your wishes in the event you are incapacitated;
  • Healthcare powers of attorney, authorizing someone you trust to make important medical decisions on your behalf in emergency situations;
  • A living will and other advance directives, that detail your wishes regarding life-saving treatment and end-of-life care;
  • A Medicaid trust, which provides access to community services and offsets the cost of any long-term or nursing home care you may eventually need.

Request A Consultation With Our Tampa Estate Planning Attorney Today

Cognitive impairments can happen due to age, illness, injuries, or chronic health conditions. Unfortunately, memory loss, increased confusion, and other troubling symptoms tend to worsen as time goes by, raising concerns among friends and family members.

While they may be well-meaning in considering guardianship, most people would prefer to remain in charge of their daily lives and future care. At Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C., we can guide you in putting the appropriate estate planning documents in place to help prevent guardianship from happening. To request a consultation with our Tampa estate planning attorney, call or contact us online today.

Sources:

cdc.gov/aging/pdf/cognitive_impairment/cogimp_poilicy_final.pdf

hillsclerk.com/court-services/probate-guardianship-and-trust

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