What are the differences between power of attorney vs guardianship?
This article quickly covers:
Let’s dig in.
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Let’s compare a power of attorney vs guardianship.
And what you can expect from a power of attorney vs guardianship.
A power of attorney gives someone the power to act for another person.
The person who gets to make decisions for you is the agent.
The person who needs someone to make decisions for them is the principal.
The agent can make decisions about:
In the event of illness or disability, power of attorney can sign financial documents.
A guardian is someone who takes care of a person who isn’t able to take care of themselves.
Guardianship gets appointed by the courts via a court order.
Meaning a judge appoints a guardian.
(With children, a will can appoint a guardian.)
A guardian is responsible for the care and finances of the person they are taking care of.
Guardians who need to manage finances for the principal get a conservatorship.
This gives the person authority to manage someone’s finances.
Related: What An Executor Cannot Do
A guardianship is similar to a power of attorney.
Both empower the agent to make decisions for someone else about:
But there are differences between power of attorney vs guardianship.
The difference between power of attorney vs guardianship is how the agent gets appointed.
A power of attorney gets appointed by the individual.
The principal can choose when the power of attorney goes into effect.
And they can choose what decision-making authority the agent has.
But a guardian gets appointed by the probate courts.
And the principal has no say in what authority the guardianship has.
Related: Consequences Of Not Probating A Will
A guardians’ authority is more expansive than a power of attorney’s.
Guardianship gets appointed via a court order.
This means that even third parties have to recognize their authority.
But the guardian’s decisions are subject to the court’s approval.
For a guardianship vs POA, the power of attorney offers the principal more:
For power of attorney vs guardianship, the POA costs the principal a lot less.
That’s because guardianship comes with court fees.
Guardianship overrides a power of attorney because guardianship is a court order.
Guardianship overrides a financial power of attorney if there is a conservator.
But if there is not a conservator, the guardianship does not override the financial power of attorney.
In short, a power of attorney is the same thing as guardianship.
The only difference in power of attorney vs guardianship is how the agent gets appointed.
Guardianship gest appointed by the courts with a court order.
Power of attorney gets appointed by the principal with a power of attorney.
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