Answer: A power of attorney is a legal document signed by you that grants another individual power to act and make decisions on your behalf. It may be general or limited to specific matters, such as finances or healthcare. A guardianship, on the other hand, is a power granted by a court at the request of a third party to take control over your person, with or without your prior or current consent.
Generally speaking, a guardian has the same powers over his ward as a parent has over a minor child, unless those powers are specifically curbed by the court that granted them.
A power of attorney is generally preferable to a guardianship. Powers of attorney can be setup quickly and inexpensively and allow you to choose who will have powers over you, while guardianship can be long and expensive to put in place and leave the choice of a guardian in the hands of the court.
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Janna Dutton, Attorney at Law
Dutton & Casey, P.C.
Chicago, Illinois 60603