Harrison & Smyth, P.A.

Getting A Guardianship Or Conservatorship As Opposed To A Living Will Or Power Of Attorney


For an elderly individual, we highly recommend family members try and get their elderly parents to set up their estate plan. We can do that either in a will or in a trust. The documents need to clearly designate where things should go and how they should be distributed upon their death. We also discuss a living will and a power of attorney. A living will allows them to designate who should help them make medical decisions if they are unable to express their wishes. A power of attorney allows them to designate who should help them make financial decisions. This needs to be done while they still have the capacity to do so and can make those decisions. If that is not done and they have dementia and are unable to sign those documents, then for someone to help them make these decision we would have to do a guardianship and conservatorship with the court.

With respect to a development delayed individual, it all depends on the capacity of a development delayed child as to whether they can just sign a living will or power of attorney. If they understand who they are selecting in helping them making their medical decisions and helping them with their finances, then they can sign these documents. It is up to the development delayed child as well as their parents to be able to work with the professionals, the doctors, the banks and others to help them understand that this document is a valid document to allow someone who is developmentally delayed to make those decisions.

If the doctors and the banks don’t recognize the documents or if there is a question with regards to a development delayed child’s ability to appoint someone else to help them make those decisions, that is when you need to come to my office and we would get a guardianship and/or a conservatorship.

Our office can prepare the documents for a living will, power of attorney, or to obtain a guardianship and/or conservatorship. We would be happy to discuss the options with regards to whether to get a guardianship or a living will or a power of attorney would be right for you or your family. If we can help, please give us a call. Thank you.

For more information on Guardianship Vs. Power Of Attorney, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (208) 552-1165 today.

HARRISON & SMYTH, P.A.

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