Power of Attorney or Guardianship for My Elderly Parents?

Life often times comes full circle. When we are young, our parents make our decisions for us. They look out for our best interests and, in many cases, help us manage our money. As adults, we may have to step up and provide the same support to our parents that they provided to us in our youth.

When an elderly loved one is unable to make sound judgements about what is in his or her best interests, a power of attorney or a guardianship may be appropriate. Therefore, knowing the differences between the two are important. Speaking with your Orland Park elder law attorney will help you determine which is more appropriate for the needs of your elderly loved one.

Power of Attorney (POA)

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person to act on behalf of another when it comes to financial or health care decisions. Each type of POA comes with different responsibilities. For example, when you are appointed as a financial power of attorney you may be responsible for managing your elderly loved one’s money, investments, or social security benefits.

If you are appointed as a medical power of attorney, then you may be responsible for making decisions regarding your elderly loved one’s medical care. This can involve making decisions about what medical care he or she does and does not receive. Additionally, those decisions may include approving, denying, or withdrawing from medical treatment.


If you notice that your elderly loved one has lost his or her ability to make decisions that serve their own self interest financially or medically, then it may be time to start thinking about guardianship. This does not mean that your elderly loved one is making decisions of which you do not agree. Rather, through mental defect or another cause, he or she lacks the mental ability to make informed decisions in his or her life.

In order to become a guardian for your elderly loved one, you will first have to go to court and have him or her declared legally incompetent. However, this should not be done lightly. When you become a guardian for another person, it means that you are responsible for managing his or her decisions regarding finance, living arrangements, and medical conditions.

Filing for a guardianship can be a daunting task. If you are considering petitioning the court for guardianship, you should consult your Will County elder law attorney. The process of being granted guardianship is time consuming and may be contentious if there are competing views about the necessity of a guardianship or disagreements about who should be appointed.

What Kind of Lawyer Will I Need?

Your skilled Will County elder law attorney will be able to help you navigate your way through this process. Attorney Mark L. Kezy has nearly three decades of experience representing his clients’ interests, and guiding them through some of the most legally complex and emotionally charged moments of their lives. Contact Kezy & Associates at 708-518-8200 and speak to our knowledgeable and compassionate elder law attorney. Your initial consultation is free and our staff is eager to get to work protecting your rights as well as your peace of mind.