Power of Attorney and Conservatorship
What is the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Conservatorship?
It can be difficult to know a loved one who is unable to care for themselves. Relationships such as this are complex situations where a power of attorney or a conservatorship are useful. A power of attorney is a deliberate and conscious choice. A power of attorney is a legal document that legally allows someone else the authorization to act on the behalf of the person requesting it. According to the Tennessee Legislature, “a petition for the appointment of a conservatory may be filed by any person having knowledge of the circumstances necessitating the appointment of a conservator.” Any person who has a conservatorship over another is called a conservator. If you know someone who needs a conservator, you may file a formal court proceeding to be considered for that role. If you are to be considered, the court must find that the conservatee is incapacitated and in need of self-care. The conservator can manage the conservatee’s financial affairs or make medical decisions on their behalf. Conservators are also required to file annual reports in regards to the conservatee’s status and finances.
Can a non-family member become a conservator?
There are cases where a non-relative may enter the role of a conservator. There are many reasons a non-family member might act as a conservator over someone. Some people are simply alone. Others may have never created a nuclear family. It is also possible that all other relatives have passed on. For those who have never created a family of their own, it is not uncommon for them to outlive their relatives. In addition, there may also be no one in the family who wants to take the role of conservator. Furthermore, there may not be any person who is trustworthy enough to do so. It is an unfortunate situation, but entirely possible.
What can a conservator do?
Conservators have the power to make all decisions for another person including financial and medical decisions. Furthermore, it is a powerful tool with a great responsibility. In light of this, the court will not jump straight to giving a conservator full powers. By the same token, it will consider what less restrictive alternative there may be in order to help the individual in need.
Power of Attorney Considerations
The court may consider the existence of the POA before appointing a conservator if someone files a petition for a conservatorium where an attorney’s authority is already in place. The court is likely to honor the POA, but it may also grant a conservatorship to assist the individual with needs not covered by the Power of Attorney. In addition, a conservator may challenge a POA on the grounds that the agent is not managing the assets of the individual properly.
Is a Power of Attorney Revocable?
A revocable attorney’s power, or POA, is a legal document appointing an agent or in-fact attorney to handle transactions on your behalf. Any trustworthy person or institution you choose can be your handler. Most states require written POA documents and specify certain requirements for the creation and revoking of POAs.