What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and a Guardianship?
A Power of Attorney is the granting of authority for another person or persons to handle certain decisions or transactions on your behalf. A Power of Attorney is a decision made by you to allow someone else to have authority over some or all of your decisions but it doesn’t remove your power to make those decisions yourself. It merely authorizes someone else to also be able to act with whatever authority you have granted. A Power of Attorney is easy to create and easy to revoke.
A Guardianship takes away of certain or all decision making authority and grants it to someone else under the authority of a court. Once the court determines that certain or all decisions need to be made by someone else, the individual’s power to make decisions is taken away unless or until restored by the court. Guardianships require medical examinations and the appointment of an attorney to represent the person whose rights are proposed to be taken. Because a guardianship is taking away someone’s rights to make decisions, it can be a traumatic process and is usually the last option.
Prior to a Guardianship, it is important to look for less restrictive alternatives such as Powers of Attorney, Surrogate Decision Making, Supported Decision Making Agreements, Trusts, or other arrangements. If someone is concerned that they may require a Guardianship in the future, they can designate who they would or would not want to serve in that role.
If you or someone you know needs help with a Power of Attorney, Guardianship, or some less restrictive alternative, please call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC and schedule a consultation. (830) 625-9300