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What You Need To Know About … Guardianships & Healthcare Powers of Attorney

Part One

When a person has a loved one in rehabilitation or in long term care, understanding how guardianships and powers of attorney really work is essential – even if the loved one is competent to make their own decisions. As clients frequently note to me, it’s what you don’t know that can hurt you.

First, What is a Guardianship?

A guardianship is a court procedure through which a person or organization is given the responsibility to make decisions about the medical care of another individual (but to be clear – only medical, not financial. The financial court proceeding is known as a conservatorship). In order to have a Guardian appointed:

  • A person (the “ward”) must be unable to make informed decisions independently (incompetent) and
  • The guardianship must be necessary to provide continuing care and supervision of the individual.

 

A Guardianship is Not the Best Solution for Most People – Consider Powers of Attorney Instead

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