You can avoid these expensive legal proceedings by preparing a Patient Advocate Designation and Durable Power of Attorney. A patient advocate has largely the same powers as a guardian. However, you can provide the patient advocate with written instructions regarding your wishes for care arrangements, end-of-life treatment and organ donations.
You may also appoint an agent to manage your financial affairs by preparing a Durable Power of Attorney. You can provide your agent with authority to manage your financial affairs that is similar to that of a conservator. However, you may also define under what circumstances your agent may make gifts of your assets or take other measures to save assets from nursing home expenses or for tax planning. This can be an enormous advantage over a conservatorship, as a conservator would have to petition the court to ask permission to take such measures, which may or may not be granted. However, it's important to carefully consider the scope of these powers and the character of the person to whom they are granted, as they can be abused.
When preparing your estate planning documents, it's an excellent time to prepare for the possibility of incapacity as well by preparing a Patient Advocate Designation and Durable Power of Attorney.