Conservatorship vs Power of Attorney in California

Power of Attorney

power of attorneyA 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:


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?

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.

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.


"I have had the pleasure of working with the Keyes Law Group these past months. To date, Mr. Keyes has been a great asset to our family; helping to plan a trust and the appropriate tax strategies for us and the next generation. What has worked very well for my wife and I is the time Mr. Keyes has devoted to not only hearing our financial planning concerns, but to also take the necessary time to explain and offer options for us to consider. We have worked with tax attorneys and financial consultants over the years. For us, a successful relationship is one of the key factors that we strive for. Working with the Keyes Law Group has been a very good fit for us as we work to get our financial affairs in order." -- RY
"I can’t say enough great things about Keyes Law Group! They are thorough, caring, and extremely efficient! I send everyone I know to them for Estate Planning! They took such great care of my family and they have earned my business forever! Look no further than Keyes Law Group if you want a seamless process and to cover all bases for your estate! They aren’t just Estate Attorneys; they are family!" -SL
"The patience with helping us achieve our goal and the patience in breaking down the legalese into simple language that we could understand was very beneficial. We felt we were very well taken care of." -GR
"We truly appreciate your thoughts, ideas and time. I very much value your expertise and look forward to more dialogue about best ways to move forward, build healthier relationships with our children and their children and to pass on our values to the degree we are able." -R.Y.
"I was able to have a honest dialog with such an understanding, compassionate, and caring human being. Thank you." -Y.H.
"I've had the opportunity to work with Elijah for several years now. I started during a challenging situation with my mother and he was terrific. I'd say he's very responsive, reliable and exceptionally fair. Also very empathetic. It's refreshing to engage with him and feel that I'm being well taken care of and my needs are being met. His staff is also lovely and overall super accommodating." -I.S.
"It is very important to research and choose wisely when looking for an estate planning attorney. Did you know that the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has a unique recognition for attorneys who go beyond the regular requirements to practice Estate Planning? Elijah Keyes has this designation; Certified Estate Planning Specialist. He is extremely well versed with this specific area of law and is a strong advocate for his clients in estate planning, including establishing living trusts, wealth planning and family transfers, dynasty trusts, conservatorships, special needs trusts, elder law medi-cal benefits and planning, trust administration and probate. Thank you Elijah, for being a trusted resource for us and for our clients!" -M.H.
"Keyes Law Group helped our family through a very difficult time with estate planning. He's honest, transparent and genuinely cares about his clients. His own personal experiences have shaped his approach in working with people - especially older folks who might be more mistrusting. He can finesse difficult conversations with ease and for that, I'm forever grateful. 100% recommend!" -Y.V.
"Elijah was very helpful with editing our family trust after my wife passed away. He answered all my question in a timely manner and if he did not know the answer he found out quickly. He would take time out of day to reassure me that he had everything under control. He took his time to explain why he worded the trust the way he did and that I understood what it meant. Will use him again when the trust needs to updated." -D.