As we get older, it is important that we think about what will happen to our assets once we eventually pass away. Both a power of attorney and guardianship are two possibilities that help determine where your assets go if there comes a point when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself or have a family member who can no longer make decisions and take care of their daily affairs. At the Law Offices of J. Jeltes, Ltd., our team will be there for you through all of life’s toughest transitions. Please contact us if you’re in need of a guardianship attorney to help you and your family prepare for what’s to come.
Guardianship is also referred to as conservatorship, and it is a legal process in which a person can no longer make sound decisions regarding health or property, as they are susceptible to fraud or undue influence. The guardianship process involves the court giving the appointed guardian the authority to act on behalf of the ward and make certain decisions that will impact their life. Decisions should be made with the ward’s best interest in mind because he or she will lose certain decision-making rights once a guardian is appointed. Typically, the guardian is responsible for one’s physical well-being as well as personal and financial affairs. A guardian can be appointed for the estate and/or the person. A guardian of the estate handles the ward’s financial affairs and a guardian of the person handles matters such as access to real estate, residential arrangements, and medical decision-making.
If not used correctly, guardianship can be very restrictive and should only be used when necessary. It is beneficial to hire a guardianship attorney when this process begins.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint either a person or an organization to manage your affairs in the case that you are no longer able to do so yourself. There are different levels of POA that grant different levels of control over your affairs.
- General Power of Attorney: This gives broad powers to either a person or an organization to handle any financial or business transactions as well as setting up life insurance, settling claims, operating business interests and more. General POAs are often included in estate planning as well so they can look over financial matters.
- Special Power of Attorney: With a special power of attorney, you are able to specify exactly what powers the agent can exercise.
- Health Care Power of Attorney: This POA grants your agent authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so for medical reasons such as unconsciousness, mental incompetence, etc.
- Durable Power of Attorney: This is a general, special or healthcare POA that keeps the current POA in effect due to durability provisions. This type of POA may also be utilized if there is a possibility of becoming mentally incompetent due to illness or injury.
Preparing for the unknown can be difficult, especially if you are doing it alone. Please contact our law firm if you need help with a power of attorney or a guardianship attorney.