How To Get a Power of Attorney in California

Create a Power of Attorney How To Get a Power of Attorney in California

Get a Power of Attorney in California With No Problems

Are you looking for a quick yet efficient way to prepare your power of attorney in California? You’ve landed on the right page!

We’ll present the legal requirements and provide available options you can use to get your POA easily.

Understand a California Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows an individual—the agent or attorney-in-fact—to handle different affairs of the principal in accordance with the terms defined in the contract.

To create a legally valid POA document, you’ll need to consult the California Probate Code that contains the laws regulating the POA requirements.

Types of Power of Attorney in California

California allows three power of attorney types:

  1. General POA—Grants the agent the authority to handle a wide variety of financial matters
  2. Limited POA—Gives the attorney-in-fact the power to act on the principal’s behalf only in specific events or situations defined in the POA document. For instance, the agent can handle property or investment transactions while the principal is out of the country
  3. Healthcare POA—Grants the agent the right to make decisions regarding the principal's healthcare if they become incapacitated

California Power of Attorney Requirements

Here are some requirements a California POA needs to meet to be legally valid:

POA RequirementsAdditional Information
Legally sufficientFor a POA to be enforceable, it needs to:

  1. Contain the execution date
  2. Be signed by:
    1. The principal
    2. Or another adult on the principal’s behalf and in the presence of the principal
Granted authorityThe principal can grant authority to the agent to act on their behalf in:

  1. Any lawful matters
  2. One or a few defined subjects or purposes, e.g., property, financial, medical care, or some other affairs
Springing POAA springing power of attorney becomes effective only in the case of a precisely defined event. The principal can grant the power to determine that the event in question has happened to:

  1. The attorney-in-fact
  2. Another individual, e.g., the physician if the principal becomes incapacitated
Termination dateUnless the POA states the termination date, the document will remain effective until the principal:

  • Dies
  • Revokes the POA
  • Becomes incapacitated (doesn’t apply to a durable POA)

A Durable Power of Attorney in California

A California durable power of attorney has to include one of the following statements in writing:

  1. “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the incapacity of the principal”
  2. “This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent incapacity of the principal”

The document must show that the granted authority should continue even if the principal becomes physically or mentally incapacitated.

Does a Power of Attorney Need To Be Notarized in California?

A California power of attorney has to be either notarized or signed by at least two witnesses.

If a POA letter is signed by witnesses, they have to be adults. According to California law, the agent cannot act as a witness.

Does a California Power of Attorney Need To Be Recorded?

Besides mandatory notarization, a power of attorney needs to be recorded in certain cases.

For instance, if a POA gives the agent the authority to dispose of the principal’s property, the document must be recorded in the county recorder's office.

When Can a California POA Be Revoked?

A power of attorney can be revoked based on the revocation terms (if any apply) or in case:

  • The principal gives the agent notice of revocation
  • The principal divorces their spouse (who was also the attorney-in-fact)
  • The agent cannot fulfill the specified responsibilities

The agent's authority automatically ends if they:

  • Die
  • Resign
  • Become incapacitated

Can There Be More Than One Agent?

The principal can appoint one or more agents to make particular decisions on their behalf in different types of POA and various matters, e.g., tax, financial, medical care, real property, guardianship, estate planning, and others.

While the attorney-in-fact doesn’t have to be a lawyer, it's better to hire an expert to handle specific areas, although their services come at a cost. A more affordable option is to appoint a family member or friend to act as an agent.

How To Get a Power of Attorney in California

You can get a power of attorney in California in one of the following ways:

  • Use predefined forms—According to California law, you need to use the state-created form for your POAs. While a general POA is available in California Probate Code Section 4401, you can find the healthcare POA in Section 4701
  • Hire an attorney—If you’re not sure which form to use or how to fill them out correctly, you might want to consider this and the following option. An experienced attorney can create a POA document for you if you are willing to pay a handsome sum for the service
  • Sign up for DoNotPay—Our app can help you:
    • Draft a POA document tailored to your specific needs
    • Get it notarized smoothly

Turn To DoNotPay To Prepare Your Power of Attorney Efficiently

To get a POA that meets your needs without paying a hefty sum for legal assistance, subscribe to DoNotPay and take these steps:

  1. Select the Power of Attorney feature
  2. Give answers to a few questions from our chatbot

Using the answers you provide, DoNotPay creates a power of attorney for your particular situation. We will send you the document with two notices both parties should read before signing the POA.

Our app will also offer to connect you with an online notary who can notarize your POA 24/7.

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