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Understanding the Difference Between Conservatorship and Power of Attorney

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In a range of different situations, individuals who are unable to care of themselves may be appointed a Conservator or Power of Attorney(POA) by a legal court proceeding to assume the rights and responsibilities of the individual.

We will help guide you towards the best decision for your situation. Whether you are establishing a Conservatorship or POA, an experienced estate planning attorney at Abrate & Olsen Law Group will make sure you and your family will be in good hands.

Need help deciding between a Conservatorship or Power of Attorney? You have come to the right place!

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What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal form or forms that allows you to designate another person to act on your behalf under certain circumstances. The person who is designated by you is referred to as an Attorney-in-Fact or Agent and is given the power to make short or long-term decisions for you, referred to as the Principal.

This action does not involve a formal court proceeding. An attorney would prepare a POA according to the Principal’s wishes for them to sign. There are 4 types of Power of Attorneys that are available and it is important to understand each one of them to achieve your specific goal.


“Thanks to Mike for being so helpful during the process of our General Conservatorship process. My wife and I absolutely loved how passionate he was about his job and he showed us he truly cared about our difficult situation. The empathy was greatly appreciated.”
~ Dan H. – Camino, CA

Conservatorship vs Power of Attorney

The most important factor of distinguishing the difference between a Conservatorship and a Power of Attorney is when it was formed. Forming a Conservatorship is after an individual is incapacitated while Power of Attorney is before the individual is incapacitated.

A Power of Attorney is a deliberate and voluntary act. Implementing a POA would is a relatively low cost and a private way to decide who will be the legal authority of the Principal.

A Conservatorship has many steps involved for a California Conservatorship leading to a public court proceeding that could be costly.

Overall a POA is less expensive and you would be able to choose the agent unlike during a Conservatorship, the court makes the decision of who becomes the Conservator.

Experienced Legal Professionals

If you need to make a decision about Conservatorship or Power of Attorney, allow Abrate & Olsen Law Group to help guide you through the process. Contact our law office to schedule a FREE estate planning consultation today.

(916) 550-2688

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