Durable Powers of Attorney and Guardianship

As we age, our needs and concerns change. Questions regarding health, finances, and care can become reoccurring themes in our life, and it is important to address them. It is especially important to address concerns that involve the possibility of having someone else act on your behalf in case you are no longer able to make legal, financial, and health care decisions. When a person can no longer make their own legal, health care, and financial decisions, it is necessary to have a trusted designated person who can make those decisions for you.

While planning for your estate, your elder law attorney in Newtown Square, PA can help you designate a durable power of attorney who can help you with your needs in case you become incapacitated. Since financial and health care decisions are treated separately, it is essential to have both a durable power of attorney for health care and a durable power of attorney for finances. It is also important to note that a durable power of attorney is different from a power of attorney. If you only have a power of attorney designated, they will not be able to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Only a durable power of attorney will be able to act on your behalf in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions.

Having a conversation with your Newtown Square, PA elder law attorney may not be easy. No one wants to think about the possibility of not being able to take care of their own legal, financial, and health needs, but it is much better to be prepared than unprepared. If you do not designate a durable power of attorney and you become incapacitated, the matter will be taken to probate court. At probate court, the judge will assign a guardianship over you to take care of your affairs. The guardian will most likely be someone that you do not know. They can be an individual, agency, or institution, and will have the court’s approval to manage your affairs. The majority of people prefer to have someone they know and trust to manage their affairs. Thus, it is vital to talk to your elder law attorney in Newtown, PA to ensure that you have someone you trust designated in your estate as your durable power of attorney.