Conservatorship vs power of attorney
LexInter | October 8, 2022 | 0 Comments

Conservatorship Vs Power Of Attorney

People who want to assign a guardian to ensure there is someone to manage their child’s or an adult’s finances for many reasons often confuse conservatorship vs power of attorney.

There are many cases where an individual may be afraid of financial carelessness that could prompt them to get a conservatorship or a power of attorney. Or some do not have the mental capacity to make the right financial decision and need an experienced professional to handle such tasks.

In many cases, young celebrities often get either a conservatorship or a power of attorney. Sometimes it is their parents who coerce them into getting one as a means to look out for them. However, in recent light, there have been many criticisms surrounding the two, is this legal measure benefitting the person the professional is looking out for?

This article will discuss the debate on conservatorship vs power of attorney. It will explain these two terms briefly for those who are unaware, the difference between the two terms, and what rights are held by each of these two members.

The article will also guide you on the following:

  • How to become a conservator?
  • Who can override a power of attorney?
  • The limited power of attorney
  • Criticisms of a conservatorship

Let’s start with the article “conservatorship vs power of attorney” by explaining conservatorships.

Conservatorships And Adult Guardianships


According to a 2013 AARP estimate, there are 1.5 million Americans under conservatorship, but what is it?

Conservatorship is another way of saying guardianship. Under conservatorship, the rights of a minor or incapacitated person are given to another person who can take care of that person’s personal or financial rights.

Apart from managing personal and financial affairs, a conservator can also address the physical well-being of the incapacitated person. Maintaining healthy relationships, physical health, and the throughputs of the incapacitated person are the essential duties of the conservator.

How Does Conservatorship Work?

The conservatorship works through the court. Generally, the conservator has all the rights of the conservatee, as mentioned above. In other words, the conservator becomes the conservatee in the eyes of the law.

Under the courts’ law, rules, and regulations, the conservator is assigned a set of duties, while the conservatee has little to no decision-making right.

Guardianship and conservatorship are two different terms having two different roles, but a single person can indeed serve these roles.

There are different types of conservatorship assigned concerning different situations. So, how to become a conservator?

How To Become A Conservator?

How To Become A Conservator

Obtaining a conservatorship and becoming a conservator is not a piece of cake.

Instead, one requires different types of certifications to become a certified conservator. Most of the conservators working nowadays do need a bachelor’s degree in a conservatorship program. However, for better and more successful job placement, you may also be required to obtain a master’s degree in this program.

In addition to this, many institutes are also offering pre-program. There are multiple purposes for this pre-program. It helps enhance the interest of an individual in this program and assists in determining if they will be able to accomplish their bachelor’s or the advanced conservatorship degree or not.

Power Of Attorney: What Is It, And How Is It Used?

Power of attorney is the legal authorization that gives a defined or designated person the right to act for someone else or to make decisions on behalf of someone else.

The authority granted through a power of attorney can be broad power or limited power. The power is liable for finances, medical affairs, property, and investment. However, they can also cover other aspects under the rights given.

There are not one but many different types of power of attorney, such as health care power of attorney, financial power of attorney, durable power of attorney, general power of attorney, limited power of attorney, and many more.

Conservatorship Vs Power of Attorney

Conservatorship Vs Power of Attorney

Although both terms may sound familiar and mean similar, there is a significant difference.

Conservatorship is when the court assigns explicitly someone who can make the decisions on your behalf or when you cannot take or are incapacitated to take any decisions. However, power of attorney is when you assign someone to make the decisions on your behalf.

Conclusively, power of attorney is based on your volunteering will, while the court itself appoints the conservatorship.

Limited Powers of Attorney

As we have understood the different terms like conservatorship and power of attorney, this section will discuss the rights and limited powers held by a power of attorney.

The first and foremost limited powers of a power of attorney are that they cannot have authority to make every decision; instead, there are certain areas and domains where they can help with making decisions or take decisions themselves.

Another limited power of attorney is that the principal, the person whose decisions are to be taken, decides what decisions will be handled by a power of attorney from now or the specific time onwards. For this purpose, the principal fills out a form stating all the domains they allow.

An agreement between the principal and a power of attorney automatically ends following an alteration in the mental well-being of the principal.

Who Can Override A Power Of Attorney?

Although a power of attorney might have many rights and advantages in making decisions on the principal’s behalf, only one can override the power of attorney.

The principal is the person who can override a power of attorney. There are many conditions under which a principal can override the controls or rights of a power of attorney. These include if the principal dies or is not in a correct state of mind, which means that they are not mentally sound and if the principal wishes to dissolve the agreement with a power of attorney.

Although the principal gives the right to a power of attorney, the principal can take away the right under the above-mentioned circumstances.

Let’s end our article on “conservatorship vs power of attorney” by concluding whether or not the former is better than the latter.

Is Conservatorship Better Than A Power Of Attorney?

power of attorney

There is serious criticism against conservatorship, especially when Britney Spears, an American sensation pop idol, testified publically of the abuse she endured all these years.

Because of the system, she could not get rid of her father, the conservator, who benefitted in the millions, along with the attorneys and many others. For years, she could not end the conservatorship because, under the law, she was not deemed fit to make that decision until she publicly spoke out, creating a massive movement called “#FreeBritney.”

On the other hand, the principal in a power of attorney retains most of the power and control and can end the agreement when required.

There are many differences when it comes to conservatorship and power of attorney. Both have certain rights to take decisions in place of the principal. But the principal can withhold them in the case of a power of attorney due to the limited power of attorney.

If you’ve got a clear idea of conservatorship vs power of attorney now, check out our blog to read more articles on these two topics.

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