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Is applying for guardianship a better option?

I had gotten a POA and Medical proxy for my mother but in Massachusetts where she used to live. We now live in Florida. She still can sign her name is cognizant enough to be able to state clearly that she wants me to make decisions for her in all areas. In that instance can we get a new POA and medical proxy or do I apply for guardianship?

Status: Open    Oct 02, 2015 - 11:10 AM

Elder Law

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Expert Answers

Oct 13, 2015 - 07:24 AM

I do not think guardianship is quite as bad as the others who have answered but it is a last resort. The reason it is a last resort for me is that it takes away the dignity and independence of the loved one. After that your mother would not be able to make decisions for herself. If you have a valid POA there is no real reason to do a new one just because she moved to FL. If she is competent to make decisions she can make a new POA and medical proxy. If she is competent you would not be allowed to be guardian. I beleive the guardianship/conservatorship actions are combined in FL. The best idea would be to make an appointment with an elder law attorney for an evaluation of her situation. The attorney can review the current POA and advise if a new one is needed. Sometimes things are different from state to state and something such as trust creation may have to be specifically granted in FL and it is not required in MA. This appointment should not be expensive and then you will know that your mother is protected. I am an Alabama attorney so this answer while covering general principles of law may not be totally accurate in any other state. That is why a visit to an attorney in FL is a good idea.

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Oct 04, 2015 - 09:37 AM

Guardianship is expensive, restrictive and involves going to court and keeping detailed records as to how much was spent, how it was spent.
In my opinion this should be one of the last resorts.
Contact a lawyer that specializes in Elder Law and find out what options are available and from that you can make an informed decision. And do this while she is still cognizant that will make the difference.


Oct 04, 2015 - 11:56 AM

I'm NOT a professional nor a lawyer but I'm going through something VERY similar. I live in NY & I've been informed that I NEED to gain guardianship. Poa & proxy are useless. At least here in NY. Wish you the best & I hope somebody with a legal background answers your question better than me!!! Good luck & God bless. I KNOW by experience how overwhelming it all is!

Oct 04, 2015 - 08:16 PM

Guardianship is a nightmare - it costs a fortune (continual CPA and attorney fees) and you will be going to court every few months. Never go that route unless there is absolutely no other option. If the attorney preparing the forms believes your mom is capable of making those decisions you should be able to get a new POA and health care proxy.
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