Practice Area: Guardianships, Powers of Attorney

 

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney can be a useful tool when parents or pet caretakers need to ensure their child or animal companion will be properly taken care of during the parent or pet caretaker’s temporary unavailability. A power of attorney will work hand-in-hand with a pet trust, discussed below.

The person who is giving the power is referred to as the “principal” while the person who accepts responsibility of the power is called the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”. Among other things, powers of attorney can be revocable, irrevocable, special or general, durable or non-durable. A durable power of attorney will remain in effect upon the principal’s incapacity. A non-durable power of attorney will not be effective upon the principal’s incapacity.

There are many options with respect to powers of attorney and you should fully understand what it is you need before you sign any legal documents.

Guardianship

A guardian is a person that is appointed by the court, for a child, to make important decisions when the parents cannot. The guardian may make decisions related to where the child at    tends school and which doctor the child will see. A guardian will also be able to obtain important records related to the child. The court will determine the scope of the guardian’s roll and set any limitations. The responsibilities of a guardian are great, and any person wishing to serve or wishing to have a guardian appointed, should become fully aware of a guardian’s legal responsibilities and the implications of the guardianship.

If assistance is required as to managing the child’s financial affairs, the guardian may also be appointed to serve as “conservator”. However, if the guardian cannot provide that assistance, a separate conservator may be appointed by the court to look after the child’s assets.

A guardian ad litem is an attorney appointed by the court to represent the child’s best interests.