Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Guardianship and Power of Attorney

Guardianship vs Power of Attorney

A guardianship is a legal relationship in which an entity or a person is named in a will or is appointed by the court to make decisions for another such as in the case of minors and adults who have become incapable of taking care of their personal needs and can no longer make decisions on their own.

It is also referred to as a conservatorship, but the term “guardianship” is more frequently used. In the case of minors, the guardianship will apply until he or she is 18 years old. Any family member or close family friend can petition the court for guardianship or a government agency can petition for it.

This is also true in the case of incompetent adults, but the person or ward can select the person that he wants to be his guardian. The judge will take this into consideration before granting the guardianship. After the guardianship is obtained, the ward cannot revoke the guardianship. However, there are cases wherein temporary guardianship is given which can be terminated after achieving a certain purpose. Guardians make all decisions for and in behalf of their wards but must not benefit from transactions made for his ward.

A guardianship is meant to ensure that a minor or an incapacitated adult receives all the necessary care he needs. Every decision that a guardian makes on behalf of his ward must be for the benefit and well-being of his ward.

A power of attorney, on the other hand, is a written, legal document wherein an individual called “the principal” appoints another individual called “the agent” to act on his behalf; authorizing the agent to make transactions for the principal.

Usually, a power of attorney is made when a principal sees that he is unable to handle some of his affairs. This is usually done when he becomes ill or has been in an accident, or when he goes out of town and there are financial transactions that have to be done. It is a written agreement between the agent and the principal whose consent is necessary for the power of attorney to take effect. Should the principal see that the power of attorney is no longer needed, he can revoke or terminate it at any time.

A power of attorney can be made for different transactions; financial, medical, and other matters. The power of the agent is limited only to the content of the agreement. A special power of attorney, which is referred to as “a durable power of attorney” can also be obtained.

While guardianship requires the guardian to report to the court and other agencies the financial dealings made for the ward to determine where the ward’s money went, a power of attorney does not require the agent to account for every penny that he spent.

Summary:

1.A guardianship is a legal relationship between a ward and a guardian who is appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of the ward while a power of attorney is a legal document made by a principal who appoints an agent to act on his behalf.
2.A power of attorney can be revoked at any time while a guardianship cannot.
3.Guardians must account for the money spent on behalf of the ward while agents are not required to do so.
4.A power of attorney is made when a person sees that he is unable to perform certain tasks while a guardianship is ordered by the court in the case of minors and incapacitated adults.


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