Legal Information

Legal Information

Guardianship Vs Power of Attorney

In Guernsey these two things are quite different and it is important to understand each and the consequences of having/not having them.

Here is an overview of each:


Guardianship allows control over a person’s affairs when it is deemed that the person is no longer capable of managing them.
  • Step 1
    Request patient’s doctor to confirm in writing that in his/her opinion the patient is unable to manage his/her affairs
  • Step 2
    The family must then agree that one or two of them should be nominated as proposed Guardian. Others (usually 3 people) form a Family Council.
  • Step 3
    See an Advocate who will explain the responsibilities and other information that they may need as set out in a Guardianship application form.
  • Step 4
    The Doctor will need to swear an Affidavit in front of a Notary Public.
  • Step 5
    The Guardian/s and Family Council must attend Court and the Family Council is called upon to confirm they approve of the person/s applying to be Guardian/s. The Guardian then takes the Oath.

N.B Should the Guardian and or the Family Council not be the closest relative of the patient it will need to be explained as to why the closest relatives are not applying.

Power of Attorney

A Specific Power of Attorney states one or more specific functions which can be carried out on the donors behalf.

A General Power of Attorney gives as it states, general powers to carry out any functions on the donor’s behalf.

A donor must have the mental capacity to be able to confer the power or powers on the attorney. This is the main difference between Guardianship and Power of Attorney. Once a donor becomes mentally incapable the Power of Attorney will lapse under Guernsey Law.

A Power of Attorney can be revoked by the donor at any time.

A Power of Attorney must be sworn in accordance with the terms of the Power of Attorney and Affidavits (Baliwick of Guernsey) Law 1995.

Power of Attorney allows an individual with mental capacity (the donor) to confer authority/power on another or group of others, (the attorney) to do on behalf of the donor anything which the donor could lawfully do him/herself.

Further Information

To find out more, please visit the Guernsey Citizens Advice Bureau website by clicking the below link.