The financial power of attorney in California is a written instrument in which one person designates another person or agent to act on behalf of the principal. An attorney-in-fact can manage your finances only when you become incapacitated. A power of attorney for finances has to be documented by you. Still, if you become unable to do so or decide on a durable power of attorney, then your spouse or relatives have to ask the court for authority over at least some of your financial affairs.
In California, financial power of attorney comes into effect when you sign the document and become incapable of managing your finances. Mention in the document that you want the power of your attorney to be durable to make sure the latter is possible. If you don’t, the power of your attorney will end up automatically when you become incapacitated. However, remember, the financial power of attorney in California does not come into effect unless a doctor certifies that you are incapable of managing your finances.
When you create and sign a durable power of attorney, you give your agent or attorney legal authority to act on your behalf. Generally, people give their agents broad power to handle their finances. However, you may give all or some of the power listed below.
- An attorney-in-fact in California can make payments for your everyday expenses or your family from the asset.
- They can buy, sell, and pay taxes on your mortgage real estate or any other property.
- Your agent can collect your Social Security, Medicare, or other governmental benefits.
- He/she can invest in a stock, bond, and mutual funds.
- Can communicate with banks and other financial institutions on your behalf.
- Can have the right to buy and sell insurance policies and annuities for you.
- Can handle your business dealings.
- Can also file and pay taxes for you.
- He/she may transfer property to a trust if you have already made one.
- Last but not least, they can also manage your retirement accounts.
In California, if you want to make a legally valid durable power of attorney, you need to fill out a form carefully and fill in the blanks that are a few pages long. But in some states, you need not have to fill out any form to make a legally valid durable power of attorney.
In some states, banks and brokerage companies also have their own durable power of attorney forms. So you will have to fill out the form provided by your financial institution along with your own form. In other states, witnesses must be present when you sign the document, so you will need to sign it in front of a notary public.
In conclusion, a POA in each state works in several different ways for finances. In California, your attorney-in-fact will start managing your finances once it is proven that you are incapable of managing finances on your own. Your agent can have broad powers of finances, but that depends on how much power you designate in the POA document.