Estate planning is important for protecting the financial interests of intended heirs after one’s death. However, estate planning tools can also be used to protect a person while he or she is still alive in Florida or in any other state. This will come in handy when a person is incapacitated and unable to make medical and financial decisions for himself or herself. Failure to plan can result in a person being put under guardianship of the government, which most people would not find preferable.

This is what happened with one 27-year-old man after he was hospitalized for a brain infection. The man was working as a hunting guide when he was hospitalized. The state government appointed a guardian to make medical decisions for the man, whom the state found to be incapable of making decisions for himself due to his medical condition.

However, the man’s family challenged the guardianship and took action to reverse the state-appointed guardianship. The man’s parents alleged that the state government was holding their son against his will. They also claimed that the man was being forced to ingest drugs he did not want or need. After a long legal battle, the man’s family was finally able to have the guardianship removed, allowing the man to make decisions for himself again.

One way to help avoid a similar unwanted guardianship situation in Florida or in any other state is to have a power-of-attorney document created. This estate planning tool specifies who should be given the power to make decisions for a person when he or she is deemed incapable of doing so. Planning ahead can help one’s family avoid the legal challenges that this man’s family faced after he was put under state-appointed guardianship.