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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-68.jpgAs people age, it becomes increasingly important to plan for the future and ensure that their affairs are in order. One crucial aspect of this planning involves the creation of a statutory durable power of attorney (SDPOA). This legal document grants authority to another person, known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to address legal and financial issues and make certain types of decisions on behalf of the elder in the event that they become incapacitated. To ensure that these issues will be addressed correctly, elders and their family members can work with an estate planning lawyer to create powers of attorney.

What Is a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney?

A statutory durable power of attorney allows an individual, known as the principal, to appoint a trusted person to act on their behalf in financial and legal matters. The power of attorney can be effective immediately, or it can become effective only if the principal is incapacitated. The agent appointed in the SDPOA has the authority to manage the principal's finances, pay bills, make investment decisions, and handle other legal matters.

It is important to note that a statutory durable power of attorney is different from a medical power of attorney or a healthcare directive. While a medical power of attorney will give a trusted person the ability to make healthcare decisions, an SDPOA specifically deals with financial and legal matters.


san antonio elder law attorneyFor those who are caring for elderly family members or who are living with a disability, guardianship can be a daunting prospect. When a legal guardian is appointed, this can result in a loss of rights for the ward, who may no longer be able to make decisions about their medical treatment, their personal care, or their financial affairs. To ensure that a person can maintain more control over their life, there is an alternative to guardianship in the form of supported decision-making. By understanding the benefits provided by this option, elders and their loved ones can determine whether it will be a good solution for them.

What Is Supported Decision-Making?

Supported decision-making enables people who may need assistance managing their affairs to make their own choices with the help of a trusted friend or family member. It gives individuals the freedom to make decisions for themselves with assistance from someone they trust. This approach can provide a meaningful way for seniors and people with disabilities to stay in control of their lives while still receiving the help they need.

Advantages of Supported Decision-Making Over Guardianship

Unlike guardianship, in which a court will grant another person legal authority over an elder or disabled person, supported decision-making will involve an agreement signed by the disabled adult and their supporter. In addition to allowing for more flexibility, supported decision-making can save time and money, since court hearings and court oversight will not be needed. Supported decision-making allows individuals to retain control over their own lives while still having access to trusted advisors who can provide guidance and assistance when needed. This gives them more autonomy and freedom to make their own choices without the fear of exploitation or manipulation by others. It also ensures that any decisions made will reflect the wishes of the individual rather than those of another person or organization.

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