Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Guardianship vs. Power of Attorney

What is the difference between GUARDIANSHIP and POWER OF ATTORNEY? GUARDIANSHIP can be limited or full. Often times guardians have designated powers in relation to the financial dealings with an impaired person, or their powers may include decision making in regards to living arrangements and/or marriage. A judge determines which decision making rights the individual will retain and which will be granted to a guardian. POWER OF ATTORNEY also varies in scope. The primary difference between the two is that GUARDIANSHIP is granted in court by a judge and as a result is a matter of record. POWER OF ATTORNEY is done through a lawyer and the rights are voluntarily given up by the individual themselves with the lawyer as a witness. GUARDIANSHIP is often looked on more favorably because POWER OF ATTORNEY is not recorded anywhere in the state, so that it is difficult to track if a person wants to revoke it. It would be highly unusual circumstances for someone, not of sound mind, to be able to make this determination for themselves. For that reason POWER OF ATTORNEY is rare for individuals in DSPD services. This is because many of them have qualified for services with the limitation of "learning" and are not able to understand what rights they are giving up. POWER OF ATTORNEY also has a bad reputation in general terms because of many historical instances where trusted friends and family members took advantage of individuals.

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