Although Britney's story is certainly tragic and we can't be sure how it will ultimately play out, her case has at least shined a spotlight the possible pitfalls within the conservatorship and inspires you to make certain that you and your loved ones have the proper estate planning strategies in place to prevent the loss of autonomy, family conflict, and potential abuse that comes with court-ordered conservatorships and guardianships.
Since the age of 16, when she burst onto the charts with her debut single, "Hit Me Baby One More Time," Britney Spears has been one of the world's most famous and beloved pop stars. Yet despite her fame and fortune, Britney never had full control over her own life. She's been living under a conservatorship for the past 13 years. With the thought that it was only meant to be temporary, yet, it was made long-term, and her father has remained in nearly full control of her life ever since.
Should you become incapacitated without any planning in place, your family should apply to the court for guardianship. In most cases, the court appoints a family member as guardian, but this isn't always the case. If you have no living family members, or those you do have are unwilling to serve or deemed unsuitable by the court, a professional guardian would be appointed. Here's how you can protect yourself in the event of your incapacity using proactive estate planning.
The Netflix movie I Care a Lot provides a dark, violent, and somewhat comedic take on the real-life and not-at-all funny dangers of the legal (and sometimes corrupt) guardianship system. This two-part series discusses how the movie depicts such abuses, how this can happen in real life, and what you can do to prevent something similar from happening to you or your loved ones using proactive estate planning and our Family Wealth Planning process. Learn more here!