End-of-life planning can be daunting, especially when we think about how we want our final fishes to be carried out. You’ll also need to come up with a plan for your loved ones to follow if you become incapacitated. If you’re looking into power of attorney or guardianship options as part of your estate planning or end-of-life care, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re a Maryland resident.
What is power of attorney?
If you give power of attorney to someone, you’re placing them in charge of making important decisions for you. You can decide whether you want the power to start as soon as you sign the documents or the power of attorney will take effect if you become incapacitated. The terms of the power of attorney will depend on the laws in the state and the specific documentation you create with your attorney.
You can opt for a healthcare power of attorney, and this person will make healthcare or medical decisions for you if you can not do so for yourself. Or, you can choose someone to be your financial power of attorney. This individual will handle decisions about all or part of your finances. However, these arrangements are slightly different from guardianship.
What is guardianship?
Guardianship is somewhat similar to having a power of attorney since the guardian will be making important decisions for you if you become incompetent. However, while power of attorney is decided by you, guardianship is decided by the court.
In general, the person applying to be your guardian will need to file a petition in the county where you reside. The individual has to present documentation by a licensed physician and evidence pertaining to their relationship with you to prove that they would make a suitable guardian on your behalf.