Legal Question in Elder Law in Pennsylvania

Switch from POA to Guardianship?

I have durable POA for my mom. She has alzhiemer's, late stage. I have a sister who is causing a great deal of trouble. Was advised to get a guardianship but would have to relinquish my POA. Which one would be better?

Asked on 11/03/04, 4:00 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

E. Garrett Gummer, III Law Offices of E. Garrett Gummer, III

Re: Switch from POA to Guardianship?

In order to specifically advise you about this case, I would want to review the Power of Attorney and learn more about your relationship with your sister. In general, however, if you have a General Durable Power of Attorney for a person, there is no need for a guardianship. Usually, a Power of Attorney allows you to assist the principal in the same ways you could if you were their guardian, without the restrictions placed on the guardianship by the court. Obtaining a guardianship can be expensive, because you have to engage your mother's treating physician to prove her incapacity and attend a court hearing. Also, after one is appointed guardian, they are required, at a minimum, to file annual reports. As your mother's guardian, unlike her agent under a power of attorney, you would be prohibited from spending any of her principal resources withough first obtaining court approval. I hope this information is useful. If you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, please contact me at 215-969-5004. Sincerely, E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire

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Answered on 11/05/04, 1:42 pm

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