Does Conservatorship Override Power of Attorney?

When a loved one faces issues due to poor decisions or incapacitation, legal solutions like conservatorships or power of attorney can help.

If your efforts to assist them are unsuccessful, understanding these options is crucial.

Concerns about the revocation of power of attorney or the interaction between conservatorship and power of attorney may arise, impacting your loved one’s well-being and the legal care you provide.

Does conservatorship override power of attorney?

Conservatorships generally override power of attorney, but exceptions exist.

This article explores these legal avenues, empowering you to make informed decisions for your loved one’s situation.

An Image of a Conservatorship
Does Conservatorship Override Power of Attorney? Photo Source (Freepik)

What are the differences between Conservatorships and Power of Attorney?

Two main legal solutions in the United States for an irresponsible loved one are conservatorships and power of attorney.

Conservatorships involve a judge appointing someone to make decisions for your family member, covering everything from finances to daily care.

This is decided by the court, not the loved one.

On the other hand, a power of attorney is when the irresponsible person (principal) gives decision-making powers to someone else (agent), which can be revoked if they have the mental capacity.

Unlike conservatorships, the power of attorneys doesn’t require a court hearing, making them quicker and without court fees.

The choice between the two depends on your specific situation.

When Do Conservatorships Override the Power of Attorneys?

If a family member or friend can’t manage their affairs, a judge may replace a general power of attorney with a conservatorship to prevent harmful decisions.

Conservatorships have personalized powers assigned by the court.

A durable power of attorneys, which persists through incapacity, can’t be overridden like conservatorships.

People with a family history of mental disabilities may opt for durable power of attorney.

Termination of durable power of attorneys can occur if:

  1. A family member or friend passes away.
  2. The agent can’t continue.
  3. The loved one revokes it, provided they have the mental capacity.

When to Obtain a Conservatorship vs. Power of Attorney

If your loved one is making poor decisions in the early stages, consider a general power of attorney.

If concerns persist and incapacitation is possible, a durable power of attorney may be more appropriate.

In cases of current incapacitation, a conservatorship provides legal assistance, though factors like legal fees and control over well-being should be weighed.

Opting for less-involved options can avoid court appearances and conservatorship costs, but if the situation persists, a more comprehensive approach may be necessary.


The article talks about how legal options like conservatorships and power of attorney can help when someone we care about makes bad choices or can’t handle things themselves.

It explains worries about canceling the power of attorney and the differences between the two.

The article also helps us understand when to choose each option, empowering us to make the right decisions for our loved ones.

It mentions that a judge is involved in conservatorships, while power of attorney allows more flexibility.

Further Reading!

Can a Guardianship Override a Power of Attorney?

Does Attorney Client Privilege Survive Death?

What Does a Probate Attorney Do: Key Insights