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By: erakhilesh

What is the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Conservatorship?

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The terms power of attorney (POA) and conservatorship may seem to be remarkably similar in nature. However, in all actuality, they are completely different. When you appoint an individual, known as your agent, to be your power of attorney, it is a completely voluntary act and done at your own discretion. Conservatorship, on the other hand, is involuntary and assigned through the court. The only way to revoke a conservatorship is to go through the process of a formal court hearing.

If you are interested in drawing up a power of attorney document or need more information about how conservatorships work, contact the law offices of Cava and Faulkner and ask to schedule a free consultation.

Can I Revoke a Power of Attorney on My Own?

When you draw up power of attorney documents, you are essentially giving your agent the legal authority to carry out legal transactions on your behalf as well as make decisions if you are unable to do so for yourself. You may also stipulate the scope of what the power of attorney should cover. You have the ability to revoke a power of attorney of your own free will and whenever you choose to do so. Your agent does not need to give their permission or be consulted in order for the power of attorney to be rescinded.

How is Conservatorship Different Than Power of Attorney?

Unlike a power of attorney, a conservatorship cannot be revoked at an individual’s own discretion. When a conservatorship is set in place, the court takes away some of the rights of the person in question, also referred to as the “ward.” The court then assigns a “conservator” who, like the agent for power of attorney, can make financial and legal decisions on their behalf. Unlike a POA, where there is the ability to revoke the legal agreement at any time, the conservatorship must go through a court in order to be dissolved.

A conservator has a broader range of legal authority under this type of legal arrangement, unlike a POA that can be designated only to certain areas. A ward cannot overrule the decisions made by the conservator. In most cases, the court will assign an individual who they believe to be qualified to handle the affairs of the ward.

Is There a Way to Avoid Potential Conservatorship?

With the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, there are a variety of methods that you can use to try and avoid conservatorship. They are as follows:

  • Sign a general power of attorney. This can cover a wide range of financial assets and other transactions that may need someone to oversee them.
  • Sign an advanced medical power of attorney so that your agent will have the power to make any necessary medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Establish a revocable trust so that your assets can be managed by the trustee.

How Can Your Law Firm Help Me?

Most individuals would not want to be under the control of a conservatorship and not have the legal ability to make daily decisions that most of us take for granted. One of the first steps that you can take is to call the law offices of Cava and Faulkner at 916-685-1225 and ask to schedule a free consultation.

We will be happy to explain your rights and legal options and help you make a decision that is right for you.