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Naming a guardian is important

As many Seattle residents know, our lives can be unpredictable. One minute you're playing with your kids, the next minute you become incapacitated because of a freak accident. When a person becomes incapacitated they often need to have a guardianship appointed.

When a person suddenly becomes incapacitated the courts will appoint a guardian. This guardian can be the legal authority of the incapacitated person's personal finances, medical preferences, and providing personal care. These are all very important tasks.

Because these tasks are so important, Washingtonians should nominate their guardian before something happens to them. If they don't, the court will appoint someone. Typically the court will appoint a blood relation first, so if the incapacitated person is not on good terms with their children, or other blood relative, they can wind up suffering because of the appointment.

Married couples typically name their spouses when choosing a guardian. They can also choose a child to be named as alternate guardian. If there are more than one child it can be important to choose in advance who is to be the guardian as to avoid a family dispute at a time when the family needs to remain together.

No one wants to think about what would happen if they become incapacitated. But life happens and it can happen to anyone. Having a nominated guardian can help a person feel more at ease in the event that the unthinkable occurs. If that sounds difficult, Washingtonians may benefit from speaking with an experienced guardianship attorney.

Source:, "Take care when naming guardian," Bo Bingham, Nov. 6, 2014

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