POA vs. Guardianship

Being proactive about your financial affairs will save you and your loved ones the stress of grasping at straws from being unprepared.

What Is Power Of Attorney?

Power of attorney (POA) is a legal transaction in which you appoint someone to act as your representative and decision-maker should you become incapacitated. You can limit a POA to specific transactions or allow them the full power over your estate.

Here are a few reasons to select a power of attorney:

  • Without a preexisting power of attorney, a court will be required to a guardianship or conservatorship should you be deemed incapable of making decisions.
  • POAs can make estate decisions without the cost and time of court hearings.
  • POAs can sign property deeds, checks, and other legal documents in your place.
  • You have the power to determine when a POA is enacted, be it immediately or contingent upon specific circumstances.

Selecting a POA gives you the power to decide who will help you in the event you become physically or mentally incapacitated. Keep in mind, if you do not choose your POA, the court may select a guardian or conservator you may not prefer.

What Is A Guardianship?

Guardianship is a court-appointed relationship between a guardian and ward – an individual who’s been deemed incapable of handling their affairs. Guardians are typically given the power to make legal, financial, and health decisions. They can also have restricted decision-making abilities like some POAs.

Filing for guardianship can be a lengthy process since it involves revoking an individual’s freedoms. Guardianship will be awarded if:

  • The court determines a ward shows a lack of capacity to make sound decisions, not just foolishness or irresponsibility
  • Instability is determined to be more than developmental or mental disability
  • The court determines the proposed guardian is acceptable for the role of guardianship

Guardians can be spouses, family members, friends, or a guardian provided by a public agency. Because a guardian acts in a ward’s stead, courts often require the approval of certain financial transactions to prevent abuse of power.

Learn more about the services and locations available at Embassy Healthcare. Call 888-975-1379 or contact us online for more information.