Emergency arrangements and guardianships

Anyone may find themselves in a position where they are no longer able to take care of their important affairs themselves – be it due to an accident, illness or old age. In the case of legal incapacity, a guardian is generally appointed who can then act on behalf of the supported person to the extent determined by the respective court. More often than not, this legal guardian is not acquainted. Making arrangements for an emergency well in advance, however, allows the person concerned to live a self-determined life – even in those situations where one is no longer capable of managing one’s own affairs. Through an emergency power of attorney, an advance care directive and a power of attorney for healthcare, anyone can take precautionary measures whilst still healthy. To ensure that property matters can be handled based on an emergency power of attorney, the latter has to be notarized. Further advantages of having an emergency power of attorney notarized are its conclusiveness, its high level of acceptance in legal transactions and the individual legal advice provided by the notary which is included in the notary fees which would be due anyway. On average, the notarization of an emergency power of attorney, including the drafting of this power of attorney, one or more meetings, the notarization itself and duplicates of the official deed, costs between 80 and 200 Euros, depending on the financial circumstances of the person authorizing the power of attorney. The emergency power of attorney documents can also be registered with the Central Register of Enduring Powers of Attorney at the Federal Chamber of Notaries. The guardianship courts can access this register so that they are able to locate the authorized representative quickly in the case of an emergency.