A Power of Attorney is used when a person designate someone to act on their behalf, which can be immediately or at a designated event (this is a Springing POA). You need to make sure that it is Durable, meaning if you are not of right mind, the POA is effective.
Without a Power of Attorney, someone would need to ask the court for authority to act on your behalf. There are 2 POAs needed to avoid Probate in this case: a Health Power of Attorney and a Power of Attorney which is over legal and financial matters.
With a Guardianship, the Court will review the person requesting it and will require a bond. There are court costs, bond, and in most cases the Bonding Company will require an attorney to be involved. This is more costly than putting the POAs in place. These cases will likely continue from the point of incompetency to your death. They require your Guardian to provide evidence of what they need to pay, and obtain approval from the Court. Your Guardian will need to file an Annual Report and an Annual Accounting. The cost of a Guardianship is much higher than putting the estate planning documents and plan in place to empower someone you name to take care of you. In a future blog, I will advise what you need to bring to your appoint should you find yourself needing to obtain Guardianship over a loved one.
I strongly advise that people review their circumstances, assets, goals and concerns with an attorney to put the proper Estate Planning documents in place. It is never too early to begin.
The documents I strongly advise people have in place are:
1. Simple Will
2. Durable Power of Attorney
3. Health Care Power of Attorney
In discussing your family, your goals, and your issues, you may need more than this. My goal is to inform you of your options, the costs, pros and cons and help you to understand your situation and the decisions you need to make. It is your decision which makes the most sense for your circumstances.
#estateplanning #probate #planningforthefuture