Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document that names a series of agents who can take actions for you if you are unable to act for yourself. When the person having the power of attorney is unable to serve, the agent can take over financial management for them.
You can appoint close individuals, such as family members, to make financial and medical decisions for you. You get this process done via an estate planning attorney or firm.
In California, such a firm would be Keyes Law Group. These important decisions concerning the finances and well-being of those close to us should be handled via entities with the highest experience and expertise levels.
Some of the estate planning processes that the Keyes Law Group can help you with include:
- Revocable Trusts
- Last Wills
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Advance Health Care Directives
- Property transfers
Unlike power of attorney, a California conservatorship is done through a court order, has more steps involved, and is not initiated by the person whose rights are being transferred. Here the court decides when a person is incapacitated and will benefit from a representative to make decisions.
When granted, a conservator can receive authority to manage money as well as health care and living arrangements for the conservatee.
A conservatorship of estate allows the conservator to manage investment and real estate portfolios, and finances. A conservatorship of the person allows medical decisions to be made in place of the conservatee. The conservator may have to file yearly reports on the conservatee’s status and finances.
What’s the Difference Between Power Attorney and Conservatorship?
- Usually, under a power of attorney, the process is initiated before the individual is incapacitated. One must have mental faculties to sign a legally binding document.
In a conservatorship, the person is already incapable of handling themselves or their finances. Conservatorships are more associated with mental and health disabilities like autistic spectrum disorder or dementia.
- Conservatorships involve public court proceedings, while a power of attorney is more private. Furthermore, a conservatorship is subject to constant court supervision, while the power of attorney is not.
- In a power of attorney, a person voluntarily signs the legal papers while in a conservatorship, the conservatee is appointed a representative despite their wishes.
- A conservatorship is much more costly than power of attorney.
- In a power of attorney, the individual selects the agent while the court will choose and approve the conservator.
Which One Should You Choose?
Both procedures are in place to assist someone facing specific difficulties. Initiating a conservatorship may be a hard but necessary option if the person involved does not already have the documentation in place and cannot handle themselves or their finances well.
For example, if you and your significant other have a child with a rapidly deteriorating drug problem that you know will land them in the hospital or financial ruin, you can guide them on initiating a power of attorney. In a carefully drafted document, you may be empowered to protect your child from financial ruin before more drastic measures are put in place.
However, if they are in a full-blown addiction to hard drugs, it may be harder to convince them to give up control over their finances.
Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help
Consulting an attorney or firm will help you make better decisions when it comes to which is better and the scope of powers and requirements needed for each. The applications for both are complex and need an experienced lawyer’s help to make a potentially difficult process easier.
Power of attorney and conservatorship in California are both handled by the Keyes Law Group. We are known for having the best power of attorney and conservatorship attorneys in CA and being one of the state’s more transparent firms.
California residents have trusted the Keyes Law Group for more than 10 years to help them streamline both processes and their applications. We are also known for compassion, as the situation can sometimes be a difficult time for both parties involved. Call us today at 408-766-7668 for a comprehensive consultation.