requires little, if any, court supervision, and is selected by the brain-injured person. The brain-injured individual must be competent enough to select a valid power of attorney, and that selection must be made very carefully, as the court is not closely monitoring the agent.
This is similar to a guardianship with the exception that the brain-injured individual does not need to be declared incompetent by a judge. The relationship is still established in the court, however. Conservators are primarily responsible for managing the brain-injured person’s financial affairs, but may also extend to issues of personal well-being.
The use of a trust can be an additional method for managing the property of an individual incapable of managing it on his or her own. The “trustee” handles the investment and distribution of funds in such a way as to benefit the brain-injured person, and the trustee’s conduct is enforceable by law. If trust property requires expert management, a bank or other institution can be named as trustee. Trusts can be designed to be rigid or flexible in how funds are invested and distributed, depending upon the needs of the injured individual.
Estate planning involves arranging for the management and disposition of an individual’s estate following his or her death. This may include the use of wills, trusts, insurance policies, and other devices. Trusts may be created to ensure adequate financial resources for the injured individual after the death of a family member or caregiver.
CHAPTER EIGHT: BEYOND RECOVERY
Many people believe that once a brain-injured person has regained basic functioning that he or she is “recovered” and no longer needs assistance. While that may be true in the sense of physical or occupational rehabilitation, there are still