Power of attorney and guardianship are two methods an individual can take in order to help take over the decision-making authority in instances of incapacitation or if a minor is left without care due to parental death. While the power of attorney and guardianship may perform similar functions in some cases, they differ in terms of who is appointed, who may do the appointing, and how much control the appointee has. For legal guidance regarding which is best for your unique circumstance, consult a knowledgeable Texas family law lawyer.
At Stepp & Sullivan, we believe our expansive and diverse 70 years of combined experience allows us to be better advocates for our clients. We utilize creative strategies to best help you achieve your legal goals, whether it is obtaining power of attorney or guardianship. We are committed to providing personalized, client-oriented legal services to help guide you through legal challenges and manage all aspects of your case to bolster your chances of success.
Differences Between Power of Attorney and Guardianship in Texas
There are various differences between power of attorney and guardianship. To understand which is best for you, consider the following:
Power of Attorney
In Texas, a power of attorney is a legal document where one individual authorizes another individual to act on their behalf, giving them a broad scope of control to make financial and personal decisions for you. You may also grant a limited power of attorney by specifying which decisions you would like them to make on your behalf.
An additional choice you have when obtaining power of attorney is whether you would like your agent to make decisions now and if you should become incompetent in the future or if they may be limited to making decisions only when you become incompetent.
To execute a power of attorney, you must be competent when beginning the process. If you are not competent to execute a power of attorney, then a guardianship may be necessary. You may also withdraw the power of attorney any time as long as you have the mental ability to do so.
Guardianship is a relationship created by the court that authorizes an individual the legal power to make decisions for another person incapable of making decisions themselves. You will need an attorney to guide you through this process and represent you. A medical examination by a physician is required to establish the condition of the person to determine if they are unable to meet their own essential needs for health and safety. The court may appoint a guardian to make personal decisions for the ward. Some decisions may be limited by the court depending on the unique circumstances.
The difference between a power of attorney is that a power of attorney may be a private way to determine who will have the legal authority to oversee your wishes if you no longer are able to speak or act for yourself and is less expensive than a guardianship. However, because powers of attorney are not court orders, not all institutions will honor them.
A guardianship is a public proceeding, and the person designated as your guardian is chosen by the court. Additionally, the court continues to monitor the guardianship after court proceedings.
Contact the Experienced Texas Family Law Lawyers at Stepp & Sullivan
To understand whether power of attorney or guardianship is best for your unique situation, consult an experienced family law attorney at Stepp & Sullivan. We are committed to providing you with personalized and compassionate legal services and passionate advocacy both in and out of the courtroom. The legal complexities of designation power of attorney or guardianship may be challenging to manage on your own, and we are here to fight for your best interests.
To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled Texas family law lawyers, contact us at (713) 336-7200 or fill out our contact form for knowledgeable legal counsel.