The Effect of Guardianship on Estate Plans

One responds to the certainty of death with dread and respect, and one lays plans for the event. Few, however, admit or even think of the possibility that they may become incompetent in their old age; hence, provision is rarely made for this possibility in estate plans. The increased longevity resulting from the recent rapid strides in medicine has as its corollary an increase both in the number of persons who become incompetent before death and the duration of their affliction. This poses a challenge to estate planners and the law of guardianship.

Today the guardianship of the person of an incompetent does not present the law with many new problems; this comment, therefore, will be concerned exclusively with the problems associated with the guardianship of an incompetent’s estate.