Guardianship and Alternatives
In Arizona, guardianship and limited guardianship are legal arrangements in which a person is appointed to make decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to make decisions for themselves. The main difference between guardianship and limited guardianship is the scope of authority given to the guardian.
Guardianship: A guardianship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints a guardian to make personal and financial decisions for a person who is incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves. The guardian has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the person in all areas of their life, including healthcare, housing, education, and finances.
Limited guardianship: A limited guardianship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints a guardian to make decisions for a person who is incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves, but only in specific areas of their life. The person retains decision-making authority in all other areas of their life. For example, a court may appoint a limited guardian to make decisions related to healthcare but allow the person to make their own decisions regarding their finances and living arrangements.
Overall, the main difference between guardianship and limited guardianship is the scope of decision-making authority given to the guardian. Guardianship grants broad authority to make decisions in all areas of a person's life, while limited guardianship grants decision-making authority only in specific areas.
Power of Attorney As an Alternative to Guardianship
Yes, a power of attorney can be an alternative to guardianship in some cases. A power of attorney is a legal document in which a person (known as the principal) designates another person (known as the agent or attorney-in-fact) to make decisions on their behalf. The agent can be given authority to make decisions in a variety of areas, including healthcare, finances, and property.
In some situations, a person may prefer to use a power of attorney instead of guardianship to allow someone else to make decisions for them. This may be the case if the person has a temporary illness or injury that affects their decision-making ability, but they are expected to recover in the near future.
However, it's important to note that a power of attorney is not always a suitable alternative to guardianship. For example, if a person is incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves over a longer period of time, a power of attorney may not provide the level of protection or oversight that guardianship can offer.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a power of attorney or guardianship will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. It's important to consult with a qualified attorney to determine which option is best for your situation.
Learn more about Supported-Decision Making in Arizona
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Emily R. Taylor is an attorney licensed by the State Bar of Arizona. Emily Taylor practices in the areas of Special Needs Planning, Guardianships (and its alternatives), Estate Planning, and Special Needs Trusts. The office of Emily R. Taylor, Attorney PLLC is located in Phoenix, Arizona. Emily Taylor is available to consult on legal matters throughout the state of Arizona.
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