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Guardianship vs Health Care Proxy in Nj-What's Easier, Faster
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 8:51 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 44

I hear a POA is only for finances, but you still need something for major health care needs.  Like what if they need to eventually be in a nursing home.  I also hear that a guardianship is two to four grand and many months.  Also a court visit.   Mom is too far gone to personally sign anything.
Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012 9:39 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Please consider seeking the assistance of a good elder law attorney in your state. It will be worth it. :) happy

Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012 4:06 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

There are also some websites that you can google that can answer some basic questions, that will help you in knowing what to ask.


One of the guys from this firm has been on the radio before.


They have info on the site, and offer a free initial consultation




Gidget P
Posted: Monday, January 9, 2012 6:06 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 62

There are four basic documents that everyone should ocmplete:


Durable Power of Attorney - this document appoints someone to act on your behalf in conducting your financial and legal affairs should you become imcapacitated.  There are two kinds of DPOA, one that takes effect imeediately, the other is called "springing" and only goes into effect after an official declaration of incompetancy.  It is a lot less hassle to have the non-springing type.


Medical Power of Attorney (aka Health Care Proxy) - this document appoints someone to make medical desicions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.


Living Will (aka Health Care Directive) - this doucment specifies your wishes concerning end-of-life care decisions.  It guides the decisions made by the Medical POA.


Last Will and Testament  - this document appoints someone to conduct your affairs upon death.   DPOA authority ceases at moment of death.  At that point, the Executor takes over conducting final affairs.


POA authorizes you to act on your loved one's behalf but does not remove from them the right to continue to conduct their own affairs as well. 


Guardianship removes your LO's rights, they essentially have the status of a dependent child.


In most cases guardianship is not necessary, but if you are in a dicey situation concerning interfering relatives, or an abusive situation, etc., then guardianship may become necessary.  It would also be necesary if your LO is so compromised that they can not execute the above documents.  They do not have to remember what they are signing but they do have to understand what it is in the moment.


An uncontested guardianship is usually fairly simple and inexpensive.  A contested guardianship can drag on and become quite costly.


The language on the four documnets listed varies from state to state.  When we move my parents across state borders we had do execute a whole new set in their new state.  Rules and procedures concerning guardianshipp also differ by state.


Although it is possible to download some blank forms from the internet and do them yourself, it is worth the money to seek out the advice and expertise of an elder law attorney to be sure you have in hand documents that are correct for your situation.  Many will do an initial consultation at no charge.  I telephoned several and asked questions by phone, then continued to work with the one I felt most comfortable with and charged reasonable prices.  We got all of our legal documents for both parents for a total of $400. (8 years ago).  Avoid anyone who wants you to pay them a big retianer fee upfront.