Happy New Year to y’all! We, here at the Cardwell Firm, pray for good fortune and blessings to all of you in 2020.
On January 1, 2020, all Mississippians were impacted by the enactment of the Mississippi Guardianship and Conservatorship Act (commonly referred to as the “Guard and Protect (GAP) Act”).
“Well hold on just a minute there Bub, I’ve got no need for a guardianship or conservatorship! Doesn’t that have sumthin’ to do with kids, or old folks?”
Well, yes indeed it does. If you are interested in a very informative synopsis of the GAP Act, its features, and how it differs from the old Mississippi law concerning guardianships and conservatorships, please visit my friends over at the Land Title Association of Mississippi (LTAMS) here: https://ltams.org/gap-act-mississippi-guardianship-and-conservatorship-act/.
The new and improved GAP Act will go a long way towards curbing fraud and exploitation of Mississippi citizens that need the utmost protection (children and our elders). It is the result of a two year intensive study of the Mississippi Commission on Guardianship and Conservatorship (established by our MS Supreme Court) and featured some of the best leaders and minds in this field.
However, with greater accountability and oversight, comes greater cost. And by cost I mean legal fees. The old version of guardianships and conservatorships were by no means inexpensive due to the cost of pleadings and court appearances. Operations under the new GAP Act are still in their infancy, but court costs also went up on January 1, 2020. Attorneys will be required to dedicate more time to each guardianship and conservatorship, and, accordingly, they will cost more.
But this isn’t a summary or overview of the new GAP Act. This is to instruct you how to minimize the impact that the new GAP Act may have on you, my dear fellow member of the body politic. That’s right, this blog post is intended to SAVE YOU MONEY and TIME.
“How’s that, Bub? I still don’t see how this affects me.”
Tough sell, I get it. Alright ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I am human adult residing in Mississippi? (If Yes, Proceed to #2)
- Am I married? (If Yes, you need this; If No, proceed to #3)
- Do I have living parents, kids, childless aunts/uncles, etc.? (If Yes, you need this).
In conclusion, you or someone you know/love really needs this information.
Alright, let’s dispense with the suspense. What you NEED is a combined durable and medical power of attorney. If you make this your mission, should you choose to accept it, you will likely never need a guardianship opened to manage your person and medical needs; nor will you need a durable power of attorney to manage your financial affairs. Oh, you will also need someone trustworthy to appoint as your attorney-in-fact (so that a court does not later have to step-in and regulate). We can customize your combined durable and medical power of attorney so that it only take effect once you are declared (by medical doctors) incapable of making decisions on your own. And/Or you can name a successor attorney-in-fact so that you are covered in case something happens to your first choice.
If this information was for you, then please understand that, with a little advanced planning, you can cover yourself for the remainder of your life, and save yourself and your family thousands of dollars avoiding a future guardianship or conservatorship.
So like the title says, avoid the GAP, get yourself an attorney-in-fact!