A California Power of Attorney Form is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person to make important decisions concerning your affairs at a time when you cannot, for one reason or another, make the decisions on your own. In other words, with a California POA, you give a person that you trust the power to make decisions for you that you would normally make yourself.
There are several different types of Power of Attorney in California to choose from and each document offers varying levels of protection to the principal and attorney-in-fact. And, each POA form comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. You just need to choose the Power of Attorney form that best fits your needs.
Different Types of Power of Attorney for California
Power of Attorney in California allows one person to grant legal authority to another to make personal decisions on his or her behalf. There are several different types of California Power of Attorney forms to choose from:
- California General Power of Attorney – This basic Power of Attorney form authorizes your attorney-in-fact to make decisions concerning many different aspects of your life and on your behalf. A General Power of Attorney terminates if you become incapacitated or disabled.
- Unlimited Power of Attorney California – This type of Power of Attorney grants your attorney-in-fact full and complete power to take care of all of your affairs. An Unlimited POA is not valid if you become incapacitated or disabled.
- Limited Power of Attorney in California – Gives authority to your attorney-in-fact with specific instructions on your affairs for a certain amount of time. A Limited POA cannot be used to make health care decisions. This type of POA is also known as Special Power of Attorney or Specific Power of Attorney. The principal can create several Limited POAs, each with a different purpose and agent.
- Medical or Health Care Power of Attorney in California – Your agent will make decisions regarding medical treatment that you have set forth and planned for if you become unable to do so.
- California Financial Power of Attorney – Empowers your attorney-in-fact to make all decisions concerning your financial affairs, with respect to checking accounts, savings accounts, safety deposit boxes, securities, investments and more.
- California Springing Power of Attorney – A Springing POA is written in a way that it only takes effect after a certain type of condition has been met and is similar to a Durable Power of Attorney. A Springing Power of Attorney for California must be written with clear definitions as to when and why the document is to take or “spring” into effect. It is often called a Conditional Power of Attorney.
Why would I need a Durable Power of Attorney in California?
What happens to your affairs if you become disabled or mentally incapacitated? A General POA is not valid if you become disabled or incapacitated. You will need to construct a Durable Power of Attorney form – a POA that is not affected by your health.
All of the Power of Attorney forms that we have previously discussed can be made durable. A California Durable Power of Attorney form will remain in effect in the event that you are incapable of making your decisions because of a disability or incapacitation.
- Powers of Attorney that are not made durable will become invalidated in the event that you are mentally incapacitated or disabled.
A Durable Power of Attorney California is extremely useful in situations when the principal is disabled or seriously ill. To ensure that your medical treatment and financial affairs are handled the way you want them to be in case you are mentally incapacitated, a California Durable Power of Attorney can be utilized to govern your affairs.
A California Durable Power of Attorney form can only be ended with a Revocation of Power of Attorney form or the death of the principal.
What type of California Durable Power of Attorney form should I use?
By making your Power of Attorney form for California durable, your affairs will be taken care of by your attorney-in-fact if you become mentally incapacitated. And, the only way a California Durable Power of Attorney is terminated is if you revoke it or you pass away.
Examples of California Durable Power of Attorney include:
- California Durable Power of Attorney Form – A Durable Power of Attorney form that gives your attorney-in-fact the authority to manage all of your affairs even if you become disabled or mentally incapacitated.
- California Health Care Durable Power of Attorney Form – A type of Durable Power of Attorney in which your agent is authorized to make all of your medical decisions for you even if you become disabled or incapacitated and cannot make the decisions yourself.
- California Financial Durable Power of Attorney Form – Gives your agent the power to act on your behalf and the authority to manage all of your business and financial affairs even if you become incapacitated or disabled.
Choosing your Attorney-in-fact for Durable Power of Attorney in California
You, being the principal, are free to make the decision on how much authority you will give to your attorney-in-fact. You can give them the power to take total control of your financial and medical affairs, or only manage a specific aspect of your life.
California Durable Power of Attorney should only be given to a person that the principal trusts absolutely with his or her life. Your attorney-in-fact should be, if at all possible, your spouse, child, parent or other close relative.
To execute a California Durable Power of Attorney the following two conditions must be satisfied:
- Your attorney-in-fact cannot be mentally disabled or influenced easily by others.
- A California Durable POA must be signed by at least two witnesses.
And, remember, a Durable Power of Attorney for California automatically terminates at death. For your attorney-in-fact to manage your affairs after your death, make sure to name him or her as the executor of your will.