power of attorney

Power of attorney and guardianship are both ways that someone can act in place of another person. The main differences between the two of them are how control is obtained and maintained. In a power of attorney, the process happens outside of court, while with guardianship, the court plays a major role.

How Power of Attorney Works

A power of attorney is a binding legal document that you sign that gives someone the ability to make decisions in your stead. This could be for matters such as:

  • Financial
  • Healthcare
  • Property

With a power of attorney, you draft the document and decide the scope of the attorney-in-fact’s power. You are able to select your agent and how much they can do. The terms of the document will govern their power. When done correctly, a power of attorney could relieve the family of the stress of disagreement. You can limit the power of attorney to a very specific matter, or you can make it very broad. Your matters do not have to involve the court.

How Guardianship Works

Guardianship matters will take direction from the court. A judge will decide who is to make decisions on behalf of someone who has become incapacitated. The guardian will be a decision-maker who acts as a substitute for someone who cannot make the decision for themselves. The court will choose the guardian, and the judge will also set the terms of the guardianship. The family does not have much control over the situation, although they can state their case in court. Many families opt for a power of attorney to not have to go through guardianship proceedings.

Libertyville Estate Planning and Guardianship Attorneys

A power of attorney is a crucial part of an estate plan, but if there is none, you might need a guardianship case. We can help, so please call the legal team at Charles T. Newland and Associates at (847) 797-9300 or contact us online for the assistance you need.