In a previous blog we explained why it was necessary to start a guardianship process for the protection of a disabled family member or loved one. Many people called the firm trying to find information about it, and a common concern was the difference between a guardianship process and a power of attorney. In today's blog we are going to try to answer that question.
As we had previously explained, guardianship is an institution that seeks to protect the rights and assets of a person who is incapacitated and incapable of making decisions, whether about their person or their assets. The guardianship process is presented in front of a court, and a judge oversees the creation of the guardian-ward relationship. The main characteristic of this process is that the person who needs help is unable to make decisions or exercise any type of control over his person, or property, since he or she is incapacitated. Hence the need to appoint a guardian.
A power of attorney for his part is an authorization given by one person to another, so that the second makes certain decisions in the place and name of the first person. The power of attorney can be specific, to carry out some particular action, such as debiting funds from a bank account, or making the purchase of a house; or it can be general, to make fewer specific decisions, such as answering a lawsuit, or making home mortgage payments. In the cases of a power of attorney, the person who grants it has full capacity, and can make decisions for himself or herself, which decides to delegate them to another person. There are special powers for medical decision cases, known as Living Will, that handle decisions about whether to receive medical treatment.
The main difference between a guardianship and a power of attorney is the capacity of the person. In the case of guardianship, the ward does not have the capacity to decide, and that is why the process is necessary. In the case of a power of attorney, the person who grants it has full capacity, and is deciding to delegate it.
If you or a loved one still have the legal capacity to make decisions and you want someone else to make them for you in the future, my best advice is to make a power of attorney in favor of this person. Powers of attorney are totally revocable, which means that when you wish, you can leave it without effect. If your concern is to know what actions the person to whom you are going to grant the power of attorney will be able to carry out, my advice is to make it as broad as possible, so in the future, they will not have problems to carry out any procedure.
If you need help granting a power of attorney, or for a guardianship proceeding, do not hesitate to call us today. The first consultation is free. Our firm can assist you with a variety of legal matters, ranging from immigration proceedings, family proceedings, to bankruptcy. Call us today and see why our motorcycle is your problem, it is our problem.