Hello and welcome to Power of Attorney California. We have created this website for you to understand both the simplicities and the complexities of the Power of Attorney (POA) form pertaining to California's state.
Technically speaking, you will be using a power of attorney agreement whenever you need a third party to officially perform any certain task for you. That is, you may choose a person to legally be you. Estate planning commonly uses this kind of form. The form itself is very simple in nature, and it just relays some written directives about the types of duties needed and the expiration of the authorization.
Bingo, that’s it. If you stop reading here, then essentially, you know what a Power of Attorney Document is.
The POA Types
The kind of transaction to be performed with the POA will determine the type of power of attorney document California you will need. For instance, the General Power of Attorney form has sweeping privileges that will allow agents to perform almost any action. On the other hand, the Limited (Special) Power of Attorney has limits regarding certain duties and privileges that are no longer valid once those duties are completed.
Each POA revolves around five people:
- The Principal is someone who creates the document.
- The person who is responsible for carrying out the duties on your behalf is the Agent.
- A notary public will testify to the accuracy of the data and the document is signed with two witnesses who are not related to the principal.
The notary must sign the document and attach the notary seal. An Agent in California must be at least 18 years of age and can be anyone of your choosing. It would be best if you chose someone whom you trust because the information the Agent is trusted with is sensitive, and he or she must fulfill their obligations in your best interest (not theirs) all the time.Limited POA
One of the most common POA forms is the special or limited Power of Attorney form. We will explain more about those later on this site.
The Agent might be allowed to manage finances, prepare business and personal tax returns (often CPAs are given a limited Power of Attorney to handle tax audits conducted by the state, for instance), or sell, buy, or trade real estate. Those privileges are typically valid until the task is done.General POA
A General Power of Attorney form will give the Agent full power and allow him or her to do any task that you can perform. These responsibilities might involve business transactions, total financial management, representation for legal and tax matters, performing real estate transactions, and so on.Durable POA
A Durable Power of Attorney has some similarities to the General POA, which grants a wide array of privileges to the Agents. The difference between the two is that the Agent’s responsibility ends only when the Principal passes away or revokes the document.
The Medical Power of Attorney California (also known as an Advance Healthcare Directive) gives agents the power of talking with healthcare providers and make medical decisions, always following the instructions (outlined in a living will) of the Principal. A Principal must have on file an incompetency statement, signed and verified by a physician for the Agent to carry out medical decisions on their behalf. This form is used for Principals with stroke, head trauma, or someone with other acute problems that will prevent them from making difficult decisions. Medical POAs are also used by people with terminal illnesses or progressive diseases to ensure they do (or do not) get lifesaving medical procedures.
A Principal can revoke POA privileges with the use of a form called Revocation of Powers. If you need to file the POA through court, the revocation form should be filed in the same court.
DIY POA Forms
Most of us use the services of law firms to get a POA, although it is ABSOLUTELY NOT REQUIRED despite the word “Attorney” in the document’s title. However, if you do decide to get legal assistance (and it’s really not a bad idea to get someone experienced to help you), your attorney will help you get the right POA for your particular situation, and they can also file some documents in the court if that proves to be necessary.
Office supply stores like Staples or Office Depot offer formatted forms of POAs, and Internet sites such as FormsPal.com have oodles of different forms as well (go figure).
Suppose you choose to write your own Power of Attorney form, which is entirely acceptable by law in California. In that case, a lawyer should still review your form to make sure they have not made any legal blunders or oversights. You will be able to create a POA quickly and easily. You will just have to fill in the blanks and print the document.
Considering the Agent
You must know that your POA could be used in fraudulent negotiations, which is known as power of attorney abuse. The State of California has provisions in place to prevent an Agent from transferring money from your bank account to theirs or having “you” sell your real estate to them. This website will explain some of those protective measures in more detail in the article linked at the start of this paragraph.
You might also just need a temporary POA Agent while on vacation or if you are recovering from an operation, or when you need to hire the services of a real estate firm. Provisions for the expiration of the document can be added at the time of signing.
You should follow some guidelines before using the services of an Agent in your next POA. Some so-called professionals with fancy titles would make you believe that they act successfully on your behalf. Among these titles used (and you should be cautious of) are asset managers or investment advisers. You should be aware of such titles because they might end up being disastrous negotiators for you. Many older people have found themselves in real trouble when they have used the services of these so-called investment advisers or asset managers.
Some of the best candidates are accountants, lawyers, and family members. There must be no problem with you and the Agent in terms of money matters if you need to trust them in this capacity.
Most of the time, your Agent should handle only limited matters, and your POA should be very restrictive in every area and very specific as well (another reason to have a lawyer look over the document before signing).