Durable Powers as an Alternative to Guardianship: Lessons We Have Learned

52 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2008 Last revised: 21 Aug 2008

See all articles by Linda Whitton

Linda Whitton

Valparaiso University School of Law

Date Written: August, 11 2008


Over thirty years of experience with the durable power of attorney has demonstrated both the advantages of durable powers as an alternative to guardianship and the concomitant risks. This Article reflects on the lessons learned from durable power of attorney use, including the key policy tensions that arise when legislatures attempt to balance the interests of the principal, the agent, and those who deal with the agent. It analyzes how planning strategies and legislative reform can enhance the usefulness of durable powers while at the same time they can provide a measure of protection for all who are affected by the power of attorney relationship. The discussion includes an overview of state legislative trends as well as the new Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

Keywords: power of attorney, guardianship, durable powers, surrogate decision making, financial exploitation, elder abuse

Suggested Citation

Whitton, Linda, Durable Powers as an Alternative to Guardianship: Lessons We Have Learned (August, 11 2008). Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-09 ; Stetson Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 7, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1217090

Linda Whitton (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University School of Law ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States

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