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What is the difference between a guardianship and health care directive and power of attorney?

Okay, so let’s start with the healthcare directive. Basically, what I’m doing is I’m giving you the ability to make medical decisions for me when I’m not able to do that. Perhaps I’m in a car accident, perhaps I get struck down by some illness, but in any of them what I’m doing is I’m saying, “Please make decisions that you think I would make when I’m not capable of making those decisions for myself.” When it comes to the power of attorney, similar type of thing, I’m giving you the ability to make decisions for me when I can’t make them. But when it comes to a power of attorney, what we’re talking about is the ability to make financial decisions for me. When it comes to a guardianship, what’s happening here is you’re now going to a court and you’re saying, “This person isn’t capable of making decisions for themselves. They’re not rational, so I should be able to do that for them.” The real difference is, in the first two instances with their healthcare directive and the power of attorney, I’ve already given you that ability to make the decisions for me. In the guardianship I haven’t given you that ability, I might even challenge your authority or your reasoning for wanting guardianship over me, but you’re asking the court to give you the ability to make decisions on my behalf. So that’s the difference.