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.
To make certain that your business—and the income it generates for your family—would continue to run smoothly when something happens to you, you need to create a comprehensive estate plan, and it really needs to include a trust. Without such a plan in place, your business will be stuck in an unnecessary court process that could easily cause the loss of everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
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.