Your family’s legal preference should definitely be for a power of attorney as opposed to guardianship. A power of attorney is a less drastic remedy that can go into operation without the involvement of the court. When you have a power of attorney, the attorney, in fact, has the ability to make certain decisions that stem from the authority given to them in the actual document. It is a binding legal document that transfers decision-making power to someone else.

A POA must already be in place at the time that it is needed. You cannot backdate a power of attorney since it is a legal document. If you do not have a power of attorney when the time comes, you may need to turn to more formal legal processes when your loved one cannot make their own decisions anymore.

A guardianship has some similar legal properties to a power of attorney. In both, there is someone who is making decisions on behalf of another. Why power of attorney is viewed as more routine, guardianship is a serious legal matter that involves a high legal burden. Instead of the family designating someone as a power of attorney by agreement, a court chooses a guardian, either based on its own choosing or granting a request made by the family for a certain guardian. These proceedings can be legally contentious, and a court may not even sign off on the family’s motion. Preferably, a family should act now so that they can avoid a guardianship proceeding in the future.

Contact a Lincolnshire Estate Planning Attorney Today

The attorneys at Charles T Newland & Associates can help your family review their options now so there is an arrangement in place in the future. To speak with an attorney, you can reach out to us online or call us at 847.797.9300.