Medical Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship—Differences Explained

Advance Health Care Directive Medical Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship—Differences Explained

Medical Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship—Get to the Bottom of It With DoNotPay

No one likes talking about difficult topics—such as medical treatments you want to receive if you become incapacitated—but, in some situations, it is essential. Not stating your wishes can only cause problems for your loved ones and lead to you being treated differently from what you’d otherwise decide.

You can deal with this issue by appointing an individual who will be in charge of making medical decisions for you.

Medical power of attorney vs. guardianship—which document do you need? In this article, DoNotPay explains the difference between the two and shows you how to create a medical POA hassle-free.

Medical Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship—Similarities and Differences

Both medical power of attorney and guardianship are used to appoint someone to act in your stead if you become incapacitated. The main difference between the two documents is who decides on the person in charge of making those decisions.

What Is a Guardianship, and When Is it Used?

In the event of becoming incapacitated and not being able to make medical decisions, a court can appoint a person to become your guardian.

A guardian can be authorized to make:

  1. Legal decisions
  2. Financial decisions
  3. Health care decisions

Since guardianship gives so much power to the person in charge, the court will only impose it when less restrictive alternatives (medical POA, for example) have been tried and proven ineffective. Guardianships also:

  • Cost more
  • Take more of your time
  • Cause a significant emotional toll on your loved ones

What You Should Know About a Medical Power of Attorney

With a medical power of attorney, you are the one to appoint a person who will make medical decisions for you. This individual is called an agent, and they will have as much power as you decide to transfer to them.

You can come across many different names used for a medical POA, including:

Some states recognize subtle differences between these documents (e.g., a health care proxy and medical POA). Many parts of the country also allow you to make a living will as a separate document. This process requires specific forms, and its cost can vary depending on the method you choose.

How Can You Create a Medical POA?

If you decide to think ahead and ensure a trustworthy person will make decisions in your name once you no longer can, you have to create a medical POA.

There are several ways you can create this document, but keep in mind that some are better than others. You can find a brief overview in the following table:

Making a Medical POA By Explanation
Hiring a lawyer This option will provide you with the wanted results but at an extremely high price
Creating one from scratch Keep in mind that you should not attempt making a medical POA on your own if you lack legal knowledge
Using online forms Free advance directive forms you can find online can act as a rough guide, but they are generic and won’t be enough for you to make a document properly
Using DoNotPay By using our app, you will save time and money and get a well-written document

Make a Medical Power of Attorney With DoNotPay’s Help

The easiest way to make a medical POA is by using DoNotPay. Our app will provide you with a rock-solid legal document that will give you peace of mind.

The process is straightforward—you only need to take a few simple steps:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Find our Advance Health Care Directive product
  3. Appoint a health care agent and choose the power you want to transfer to them
  4. Enter the relevant medical information (your hospital, doctor, etc.)

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If your unfinished tasks are piling up each day, we can help save you time and energy. Let DoNotPay do the heavy lifting and complete the following for you:

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