Tom was 40 years old. He was divorced and had three children. Tom was healthy and fit and no reason to suspect a medical emergency at such a young age. Unfortunately, Tom had an accident at work and slipped into a coma.
Because Tom did not have an Advanced Health Care Directive laying out his wishes should this very situation occur, his three children fought for months over whether or not to remove his feeding tube. Ultimately, one of his children petitioned the probate court for a Conservatorship, which resulted in the other two children contesting the petition. It resulted in one year of litigation, ending with a professional fiduciary (a neutral third party, unrelated to the family) being appointed conservator.
Not only did this ordeal cause a great amount of stress between the children, Tom's bank accounts were affectively drained in the litigation process. Had Tom had an estate plan in place, litigation over his affairs would have been unlikely.
Author: Duisters Law, APC Family Law & Probate Attorneys
Vista probate lawyer
vista conservatorship attorney
Contributor: Vincenzo S. Giarratano, Esq. Of Counsel in Estate Planning