How can guardianship, power of attorney, and conservatorship help someone who cannot make important life decisions?
Unfortunately, there are situations in life in which a person is, or becomes, unable to make financial and medical decisions for themselves. For example, a dementia diagnosis in an elderly parent, a traumatic brain injury for a young adult, or a lifelong struggle with addiction are just some of the reasons why a person may need a decision-maker. In these situations, there are generally three options that can help: 1. Power of attorney, 2. Guardianship, and 3. Conservatorship.
A power of attorney is a legal document that enables someone to make decisions on another person’s behalf – and requires those decisions to be in that other person’s best interest. A power of attorney can only be created by someone who has decision-making capacity at the time it is created. If a person has advanced dementia or cognitive limitations, a power of attorney may not be an option. In that case guardianship of adults can be sought.
Some states use the term “guardian” for those responsible for a person’s well-being and the term “conservator” for those responsible for a person’s finances. For simplicity, let’s use the term “guardian” to encompass both types of decision-makers.
In a guardianship proceeding, a court must find that a person lacks the ability to make decisions. A judge will then appoint a guardian to make those decisions on the person’s behalf and be accountable to the court. Advocord’s guardianship software is designed to help guardians, and individuals with power of attorney, to easily and securely maintain all records related to their roles. Learn more about guardianship, POA and a record-keeping on our website.
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