Free California Durable Power of Attorney Forms
California Durable Power of Attorney Laws
Creation and Effect of Powers of Attorney - The California Probate Code states that a durable power of attorney is a POA through which a principal designates another individual as attorney-in-fact in writing. The form should also contain the statement, “This power of attorney shall remain unaffected by the subsequent incapacity of the principal,” or any similar provision (California Probate Code § 4128).
Signing Requirements in California
The principal must sign the durable POA to make it legal. Moreover, there must be two witnesses who fit the legal requirements. They must be adults, not the attorney-in-fact, and they should have witnessed the principal signing the document. A notary public is required to acknowledge the POA (California Probate Code § 4122).
How To Write a Durable Poa in California
An agent or attorney-in-fact with a POA acts on behalf of a principal in handling financial and healthcare matters. In order to allow the agent to continue their job despite a principal becoming incompetent or incapacitated, a durable POA must be signed. Here are the steps to create one.
1. Understand what the POA entails
The most crucial step is understanding the power you’re about to bestow on an agent through a durable POA in California. This individual will have the authority to manage your personal property and decisions throughout your life until you revoke these powers. However, if you become medically incapacitated, there is no way to overturn the authority.
2. Download a printable POA form
Download a POA template online that you and your lawyer can use.
3. Read the POA provisions carefully
Review the terms on the form and amend them based on your needs. If there are things you don’t understand, have legal counsel explain them to you. Remember that should your condition worsen, and you are unable to make sound decisions, the agent will then hold your future in their hands.
As mentioned previously, there are standard statements that a durable POA in California must include by law:
- “This power of attorney shall remain unaffected by the subsequent incapacity of the principal.”
- “This power of attorney shall take effect upon the incapacity of the principal.”
You can also use your own statements with similar words indicating the same intent: that the agent will have authority over the principal notwithstanding subsequent incapacity.
4. Name an agent
Find someone you trust who is at least 18 years old and name them as your agent in the document. They can be a family member, friend, or relative.
It is also important to talk to your would-be agent personally is also important so you can properly explain their responsibilities. It’s not a simple request, especially for someone close to you. You should also consider a possible second nominee if the person you ask first says no.
If they agree to the role, you can present them with the California durable POA.
5. Sign the document
You must sign the document and put the date on it. There should be two witnesses when you sign the POA. If you’re unable to sign because of extenuating circumstances, you can ask somebody else to sign on your behalf as long as two witnesses can attest that you’ve given permission to your signatory. The document must also be acknowledged by a notary public.
6. Give the right people copies of the POA
Keep your durable POA in a safe place and provide copies to your agent and other people who may need them.