The main difference between guardianship and a power of attorney is that an individual must be granted guardianship by a Pennsylvania court while an individual must be awarded power of attorney by one’s estate plan. Follow along to find out more about the difference between guardianship and power of attorney and how one of the proficient Butler County powers of attorney lawyers at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning, LLC can help you out.
What is guardianship?
Put simply, establishing guardianship is necessary in the event that you no longer have the mental capacity or capability to make informed decisions by yourself. And so, the Pennsylvania court may assign guardianship to a loved one so that they can make these important decisions on your behalf. Such important decisions may be in regard to your legal matters, financial matters, and/or medical matters.
With that being said, your loved one will have to persuade the Pennsylvania court to name them as your guardian by presenting forms of medical evidence or physical evidence that shows your inability to make informed decisions independently.
What is power of attorney in an estate plan?
On the other hand, a power of attorney may be included in your estate plan so that you can appoint a loved one to make important decisions on your behalf in the unfortunate event that you become incapacitated. Notably, there are several powers of attorney that you may include, and they are as follows:
- Financial power of attorney: otherwise known as a durable power of attorney, this appointment allows your agent to manage your financial affairs (i.e., signing checks, opening bank accounts, etc) on your behalf.
- Springing power of attorney: this appointment allows your agent to work on your behalf at a predetermined point in time (i.e., if a certain circumstance occurs).
- General power of attorney: this appointment allows your agent to make specific financial transactions (i.e., banking matters, certain investments, etc) on your behalf.
- Limiting power of attorney: this appointment allows your agent to work on your behalf for a distinct case (i.e., conducting a certain business matter, signing documents for a large purchase, etc).
- Health care power of attorney: this appointment allows your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to speak or communicate, or refer back to your living will.
It is important to note that while you may assign multiple agents to any of these powers of attorney, you should name the agents in successive order. That is, a pecking order helps to avoid any conflict that may arise in the future.
If you would like to learn more about the difference between guardianship and a power of attorney, contact one of the talented Butler County powers of attorney lawyers today.