Power of Attorney vs Guardianship


A guardianship takes precedence and, in fact, automatically revokes all powers of attorney. If you suspect someone is abusing a power of attorney, your best remedy is to petition the court to have a guardian appointed for the person being abused.


Phyllis: I have a grandson, he is about 25. He was recently, a few weeks ago, injured at work, trimming trees. A branch fell on his head. His girlfriend came up with a document that she said he had signed, and I don’t know what the date of it was. But the hospital took that and changed their communication from my grandson’s mother to the girlfriend. Attorney Tom Olsen: There are two documents that might be in play here. One would be a health care surrogate form where he appoint a girlfriend to make health care decisions for him if he is not able to, that would allow her to talk to his doctors and allow her to get access to a medical records. Sounds like she’s got one, sounds like the hospital's got them. Number two, there’s a financial power of attorney where he’s appointed maybe the girlfriend to pay his bills, manage his affairs, and potentially hire a lawyer on his behalf to pursue a claim. Pursuing a claim on his behalf would not make that money hers. It would simply mean if there's a recovery she would manage that money for his benefit on his behalf. Phyllis if that is the case and you don’t like it, then the only remedy would be for his mother or another interested party to pursue a legal guardianship. Legal guardianships trumps powers of attorney. If those are out there and you don’t like them, then the remedy would be for you, or the mother, to pursue a legal guardianship and have the court appoint mom or you to make health care decisions and financial decisions on behalf of your grandson. Phyllis, I wish the very best, speedy recovery for your grandson. We wish the best for him. Folks my name is Tom Olsen. The name of the show is Olsen on Law. We’re going to take a break we will be back in just few minutes.