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Smith Welch Webb & White Blog

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Power of Attorney, Guardianship and Your Eldercare Plan

An eldercare plan can help you, and your loved ones, be well-prepared for difficult circumstances down the road.  Part of a good eldercare plan is understanding the options available when someone becomes unable to care for themselves.  

 

A power of attorney and a guardianship are two ways someone may act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.  By proactively legally designating a power of attorney, you are choosing the person who you want to act for you.  In a guardianship proceeding, the court chooses who will act as your guardian. 

 

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a trusted person who has been designated to take care of your financial affairs in the event you have become unable to do it on your own.  During the estate planning process, you may limit a power of attorney to very specific transactions or you may give someone power over all your affairs.

 

Without a power of attorney, no one can represent you unless a court appoints a conservator or guardian. That court process takes time, costs money, and ultimately the judge may not choose the person you want to represent your best interests.  When planning for your future, it’s recommended to designate a power of attorney.  Some argue that a power of attorney is even more useful than a will.  

 

Guardianship

If an adult cannot “make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning his or her health or safety” the court may appoint a decision maker called a "guardian.”   The guardian is empowered to make decisions regarding housing, consent to medical treatment, as well as decisions about general care, health and welfare. 

 

In Georgia, guardianship is determined in probate court in the county in which the proposed ward resides.  To start the process, the Petition must be signed by the person (usually a family member) who offering to become the guardian and another person familiar with the situation or a medical professional. The court will appoint an attorney for the proposed ward if he or she does not already have an attorney.  Guardianship is only awarded when the health and wellbeing of the proposed ward is in serious jeopardy, as it involves taking rights away from an individual.

 

Are you ready to take control of your future?  Our experienced family law and estate planning attorneys can guide you the process.   Contact Elizabeth Pool today for a consultation. 

 

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

  


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