Power of Attorney, Guardianship and Conservatorship

Power of Attorney is an important legal binding in the form of a document that gives broad powers for another person, the agent, to make a broad range of legal decisions on behalf of an individual, the principal. The person with Power of Attorney may sell property, sign contracts, make legal decisions, and make health care decisions.

What Does a Power of Attorney Do?

In cases of an emergency, the Power of Attorney can allow for the agent to make important decisions such as pay monthly bills, sell thing such as houses or cars, or use bank funds for whatever need may arise. The concept of Power of Attorney should not be confused with Guardianship.

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is intended for when an adult becomes mentally deficient. It allows the guardian or conservator to legally act on behalf of that person, the ward. To begin the process of obtaining Guardianship, in general, a family member or friend may file a petition in court.

The petition must be made in the county where the ward resides. The court may ask for proof that the individual is incapable of making decisions and may request that a medical professional may perform an examination.

What is a Conservatorship?

Lastly, a Conservatorship is a legal relationship in which the court gives a person, the conservator, the powers and legal entitlement to any financial decisions for that person, the protected. The court will determine whether that person is incapable of managing his or her financial affairs. If it is found to be the case, a conservator will be appointed to make those decisions.

Appointing a Person

If you reside in Palm Springs, there are many Palm Springs trust and estate attorneys that work at a Palm Springs trust and estates law firm that would answer any questions about the process. Appointing anyone as a guardian, agent, or conservator is a difficult decision and it is best if the individual has an idea of the process and who they would want in the case of an emergency.