Elder Law: Guardianship vs. Power of Attorney

Posted August 17th, 2016 by .

Categories: Family Law.

guardianship vs power of attorney anthony carboneIn last week’s blog, we discussed the reasons why you may need an elder law attorney in your future. One of those reasons is to make arrangements of guardianship for your elder family members. Guardianship gives you the responsibility of making decisions for an adult who is unable to make their own decisions because of illness or a mental disability. It sounds very similar to power of attorney where you can make legal decisions for another person. So, what’s the difference between a guardianship and power of attorney?

When it comes to power of attorney, it’s more for estate planning. It gives you the opportunity to appoint someone to act in place of you for financial purposes if you ever become incapacitated. For instead, if you should fall into a coma, your power of attorney can make decisions on your behalf. You can limit someone’s power of attorney to only one single transaction or give them gull power over your affairs.

However, guardianship is a little different. Also known as a conservator, guardianship is a legal relationship between a guardian and the person who is no longer able to take care of his/her own affairs, known as the “ward.” Not only does the guardian authorized to handle financial affairs, but can also make decisions on legal and health care options for the ward. It’s almost like being a child again with a parent making all your decisions for you. A guardianship will only be awarded when alternatives, such as power of attorney, have been tried and were not affective, and sometimes you may need court approval for the decisions you make for the ward.

If you need to create a guardianship or a power of attorney, let our elder law attorneys help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.


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