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Hi, I’m Travis Walker with The Law Offices of Travis R. Walker.

A question we often get here in Stuart, Florida is “What is the difference between a guardianship and a power of attorney?” The difference is clear. The power of attorney is a document that is signed and executed while they have the capacity to do so that gives you the authority and the right to act on their behalf, so you can potentially open bank accounts, sell real estate, make decisions on their behalf in regards to lots of different things. That person is called an attorney in fact and they stand in the place of that person and make the decisions for them.

The guardianship is much different and it involves the court. It instead of just having authority to make decisions on their behalf, you actually control the person, the “ward” is the legal term for the person who is being controlled by the guardianship. There is a big different, the power of attorney while you have the ability to act on their behalf, you don’t actually have the ability to control the ward and that’s one of the biggest differences between power of attorney and guardianship.