As important as having a power of attorney is having the right one. In addition, you may need more than one type of power of attorney depending on your circumstance.
Read on to see which ones are apt for you.
Table of Contents
- California Powers of Attorney
- How to Get Power of Attorney in California
Durable Power of Attorney – California
A durable power of attorney (DPOA) remains in effect even if the principal (the individual assigning the power) becomes incapacitated (say, falls into a coma or develops dementia).
This is achieved by adding a statement such as the following to the POA document: This power of attorney will continue to be effective even though I become incapacitated.
CALIFORNIA POWER OF ATTORNEY
NOTICE: THE POWERS GRANTED BY THIS DOCUMENT ARE BROAD AND SWEEPING. THEY ARE EXPLAINED IN THE UNIFORM STATUTORY FORM POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT (CALIFORNIA PROBATE CODE SECTIONS 4400-4465). THE POWERS LISTED IN THIS DOCUMENT DO NOT INCLUDE ALL POWERS THAT ARE AVAILABLE UNDER THE PROBATE CODE. ADDITIONAL POWERS AVAILABLE UNDER THE PROBATE CODE MAY BE ADDED BY SPECIFICALLY LISTING THEM UNDER THE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS SECTION OF THIS DOCUMENT. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE POWERS, OBTAIN COMPETENT LEGAL ADVICE. THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANYONE TO MAKE MEDICAL AND OTHER HEALTH-CARE DECISIONS FOR YOU. YOU MAY REVOKE THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IF YOU LATER WISH TO DO SO.
I. DESIGNATION OF AGENT
I, __________, residing at __________, __________, CA __________, appoint the following individual as as my agent (attorney-in-fact):
Agent’s Full Name: _________________________________________________________
Agent’s Street Address: ______________________________________________________
Agent’s Phone Number: ______________________________________________________
II. DESIGNATION OF SUCCESSOR AGENT
If my agent is unable or unwilling to act for me, I name as my successor agent:
Successor Agent’s Full Name: ___________________________________________________
Successor Agent’s Street Address: ________________________________________________
Successor Agent’s Phone Number: ________________________________________________
III. GRANT OF GENERAL AUTHORITY
I authorize my agents to act for me in any lawful way with respect to the following subjects (TO WITHHOLD A POWER, DO NOT INITIAL THE LINE IN FRONT OF IT):
______ (A) Real Property Transactions.
- Accept as a gift or as security for a loan, reject, demand, buy, lease, receive, or otherwise acquire, an interest in real property or a right incident to real property.
- Sell, exchange, convey with or without covenants, quitclaim, release, surrender, mortgage, encumber, partition, consent to partitioning, subdivide, apply for zoning, rezoning, or other governmental permits, plat or consent to platting, develop, grant options concerning, lease, sublease, or otherwise dispose of, an interest in real property or a right incident to real property.
- Release, assign, satisfy, and enforce by litigation or otherwise, a mortgage, deed of trust, encumbrance, lien, or other claim to real property which exists or is asserted.
- Do any act of management or of conservation with respect to an interest in real property, or a right incident to real property, owned, or claimed to be owned, by me, including all of the following:
- Insuring against a casualty, liability, or loss.
- Obtaining or regaining possession, or protecting the interest or right, by litigation or otherwise.
- Paying, compromising, or contesting taxes or assessments, or applying for and receiving refunds in connection with them.
- Purchasing supplies, hiring assistance or labor, and making repairs or alterations in the real property.
- Use, develop, alter, replace, remove, erect, or install structures or other improvements upon real property in or incident to which I have, or claim to have, an interest or right.
- Participate in a reorganization with respect to real property or a legal entity that owns an interest in or right incident to real property and receive and hold shares of stock or obligations received in a plan of reorganization, and act with respect to them, including all of the following:
- Selling or otherwise disposing of them.
- Exercising or selling an option, conversion, or similar right with respect to them.
- Voting them in person or by proxy.
- Change the form of title of an interest in or right incident to real property.
- Dedicate to public use, with or without consideration, easements or other real property in which I have, or claim to have, an interest or right.
______ (B) Tangible Personal Property Transactions.
- Accept as a gift or as security for a loan, reject, demand, buy, receive, or otherwise acquire ownership or possession of tangible personal property or an interest in tangible personal property.
- Sell, exchange, convey with or without covenants, release, surrender, mortgage, encumber, pledge, hypothecate, create a security interest in, pawn, grant options concerning, lease, sublease to others, or otherwise dispose of tangible personal property or an interest in tangible personal property.
- Release, assign, satisfy, or enforce by litigation or otherwise, a mortgage, security interest, encumbrance, lien, or other claim on behalf of me, with respect to tangible personal property or an interest in tangible personal property.
- Do an act of management or conservation with respect to tangible personal property or an interest in tangible personal property on behalf of me, including all of the following:
- Insuring against casualty, liability, or loss.
- Obtaining or regaining possession, or protecting the property or interest, by litigation or otherwise.
- Paying, compromising, or contesting taxes or assessments or applying for and receiving refunds in connection with taxes or assessments.
- Moving from place to place.
- Storing for hire or on a gratuitous bailment.
- Using, altering, and making repairs or alterations.
______ (C) Stock and Bond Transactions.
- Buy, sell, and exchange stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and all other types of securities and financial instruments except commodity futures contracts and call and put options on stocks and stock indexes.
- Receive certificates and other evidences of ownership with respect to securities.
- Exercise voting rights with respect to securities in person or by proxy, enter into voting trusts, and consent to limitations on the right to vote.
______ (D) Commodity and Option Transactions.
- Buy, sell, exchange, assign, settle, and exercise commodity futures contracts and call and put options on stocks and stock indexes traded on a regulated option exchange.
- Establish, continue, modify, and terminate option accounts with a broker.
______ (E) Banking and Other Financial Institution Transactions.
- Continue, modify, and terminate an account or other banking arrangement made by or on behalf of me.
- Establish, modify, and terminate an account or other banking arrangement with a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, credit union, thrift company, industrial loan company, brokerage firm, or other financial institution selected by my agent.
- Hire or close a safe deposit box or space in a vault.
- Contract to procure other services available from a financial institution as my agent considers desirable.
- Withdraw by check, order, or otherwise money or property of mine deposited with or left in the custody of a financial institution.
- Receive bank statements, vouchers, notices, and similar documents from a financial institution and act with respect to them.
- Enter a safe deposit box or vault and withdraw or add to the contents.
- Borrow money at an interest rate agreeable to my agent and pledge as security personal property of me necessary in order to borrow, pay, renew, or extend the time of payment of a debt of mine.
- Make, assign, draw, endorse, discount, guarantee, and negotiate promissory notes, checks, drafts, and other negotiable or nonnegotiable paper of mine, or payable to me or my order, receive the cash or other proceeds of those transactions, and accept a draft drawn by a person upon me and pay it when due.
- Receive for me and act upon a sight draft, warehouse receipt, or other negotiable or nonnegotiable instrument.
- Apply for and receive letters of credit, credit cards, and traveler’s checks from a financial institution, and give an indemnity or other agreement in connection with letters of credit.
- Consent to an extension of the time of payment with respect to commercial paper or a financial transaction with a financial institution.
______ (F) Business Operating Transactions.
- Operate, buy, sell, enlarge, reduce, and terminate a business interest.
- To the extent that an agent is permitted by law to act for a principal and subject to the terms of the partnership agreement:
- Perform a duty or discharge a liability and exercise a right, power, privilege, or option that I have, may have, or claim to have, under a partnership agreement, whether or not I am a partner.
- Enforce the terms of a partnership agreement by litigation or otherwise.
- Defend, submit to arbitration, settle, or compromise litigation to which I am a party because of membership in the partnership.
- Exercise in person or by proxy, or enforce by litigation or otherwise, a right, power, privilege, or option I have or claim to have as the holder of a bond, share, or other instrument of similar character, and defend, submit to arbitration, settle, or compromise litigation to which I am a party because of a bond, share, or similar instrument.
- With respect to a business owned solely by me:
- Continue, modify, renegotiate, extend, and terminate a contract made with an individual or a legal entity, firm, association, or corporation by or on behalf of me with respect to the business before execution of the power of attorney.
- Determine the policy of the business as to (A) the location of its operation, (B) the nature and extent of its business, (C) the methods of manufacturing, selling, merchandising, financing, accounting, and advertising employed in its operation, (D) the amount and types of insurance carried, and (E) the mode of engaging, compensating, and dealing with its accountants, attorneys, and other agents and employees.
- Change the name or form of organization under which the business is operated and enter into a partnership agreement with other persons or organize a corporation to take over all or part of the operation of the business.
- Demand and receive money due or claimed by me or on my behalf in the operation of the business, and control and disburse the money in the operation of the business.
- Put additional capital into a business in which I have an interest.
- Join in a plan of reorganization, consolidation, or merger of the business.
- Sell or liquidate a business or part of it at the time and upon the terms my agent considers desirable.
- Represent me in establishing the value of a business under a buy-out agreement to which I am a party.
- Prepare, sign, file, and deliver reports, compilations of information, returns, or other papers with respect to a business which are required by a governmental agency or instrumentality or which my agent considers desirable, and make related payments.
- Pay, compromise, or contest taxes or assessments and do any other act which my agent considers desirable to protect me from illegal or unnecessary taxation, fines, penalties, or assessments with respect to a business, including attempts to recover, in any manner permitted by law, money paid before or after the execution of the power of attorney.
______ (G) Insurance and Annuity Transactions.
- Continue, pay the premium or assessment on, modify, rescind, release, or terminate a contract procured by or on behalf of me that insures or provides an annuity to either me or another person, whether or not I am a beneficiary under the contract.
- Procure new, different, and additional contracts of insurance and annuities for me and the my spouse, children, and other dependents, and select the amount, type of insurance or annuity, and mode of payment.
- Pay the premium or assessment on, modify, rescind, release, or terminate a contract of insurance or annuity procured by my agent.
- Apply for and receive a loan on the security of the contract of insurance or annuity.
- Surrender and receive the cash surrender value.
- Exercise an election.
- Change the manner of paying premiums.
- Change or convert the type of insurance contract or annuity as to any insurance contract or annuity with respect to which I have or claim to have a power described in this section.
- Apply for and procure government aid to guarantee or pay premiums of a contract of insurance on the life of me.
- Collect, sell, assign, hypothecate, borrow upon, or pledge the interest of mine in a contract of insurance or annuity.
- Pay from proceeds or otherwise, compromise or contest, and apply for refunds in connection with, a tax or assessment levied by a taxing authority with respect to a contract of insurance or annuity or its proceeds or liability accruing by reason of the tax or assessment.
______ (H) Estate, Trust, and Other Beneficiary Transactions.
- Accept, receive, receipt for, sell, assign, pledge, or exchange, a share in, or payment from, the fund.
- Demand or obtain by litigation or otherwise money or other thing of value to which I am, may become, or claims to be entitled by reason of the fund.
- Initiate, participate in, and oppose litigation to ascertain the meaning, validity, or effect of a deed, will, declaration of trust, or other instrument or transaction affecting the interest of mine.
- Initiate, participate in, and oppose litigation to remove, substitute, or surcharge a fiduciary.
- Conserve, invest, disburse, and use anything received for an authorized purpose.
- Transfer an interest of mine in real property, stocks, bonds, accounts with financial institutions, insurance, and other property, to the trustee of a revocable trust created by me as settlor.
- Disclaim a detrimental transfer to me with the approval of the court.
______ (I) Claims and Litigation.
- Assert and prosecute before a court or administrative agency a claim, claim for relief, cause of action, counterclaim, cross-complaint, or offset, and defend against an individual, a legal entity, or government, including suits to recover property or other thing of value, to recover damages sustained by me, to eliminate or modify tax liability, or to seek an injunction, specific performance, or other relief.
- Bring an action to determine adverse claims, intervene in litigation, and act as amicus curiae.
- In connection with litigation:
- Procure an attachment, garnishment, libel, order of arrest, or other preliminary, provisional, or intermediate relief and use any available procedure to effect, enforce, or satisfy a judgment, order, or decree.
- Perform any lawful act, including acceptance of tender, offer of judgment, admission of facts, submission of a controversy on an agreed statement of facts, consent to examination before trial, and binding me in litigation.
- Submit to arbitration, settle, and propose or accept a compromise with respect to a claim or litigation.
- Waive the issuance and service of process upon me, accept service of process, appear for me, designate persons upon whom process directed to me may be served, execute and file or deliver stipulations on my behalf, verify pleadings, seek appellate review, procure and give surety and indemnity bonds, contract and pay for the preparation and printing of records and briefs, receive and execute and file or deliver a consent, waiver, release, confession of judgment, satisfaction of judgment, notice, agreement, or other instrument in connection with the prosecution, settlement, or defense of a claim or litigation.
- Act for me with respect to bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, whether voluntary or involuntary, concerning me or some other person, or with respect to a reorganization proceeding, or with respect to an assignment for the benefit of creditors, receivership, or application for the appointment of a receiver or trustee which affects an interest of mine in property or other thing of value.
- Pay a judgment against me or a settlement made in connection with litigation and receive and conserve money or other thing of value paid in settlement of or as proceeds of a claim or litigation.
______ (J) Personal and Family Maintenance.
- Do the acts necessary to maintain the customary standard of living of mine, my spouse, children, and other individuals customarily or legally entitled to be supported by me, including providing living quarters by purchase, lease, or other contract, or paying the operating costs, including interest, amortization payments, repairs, and taxes on premises owned by me and occupied by those individuals.
- Provide for the individuals described in paragraph (1) all of the following:
- Normal domestic help.
- Usual vacations and travel expenses.
- Funds for shelter, clothing, food, appropriate education, and other current living costs.
- Pay for the individuals described in paragraph (a) necessary medical, dental, and surgical care, hospitalization, and custodial care.
- Continue any provision made by me, for the individuals described in paragraph (1), for automobiles or other means of transportation, including registering, licensing, insuring, and replacing them.
- Maintain or open charge accounts for the convenience of the individuals described in paragraph (1) and open new accounts my agent considers desirable to accomplish a lawful purpose.
- Continue payments incidental to the membership or affiliation of mine in a church, club, society, order, or other organization and continue contributions to those organizations.
______ (K) Benefits from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or Other Governmental Programs, or Civil or Military Service.
- Execute vouchers in my name for allowances and reimbursements payable by the United States or a foreign government or by a state or subdivision of a state to me, including allowances and reimbursements for transportation of the individuals described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 4460, and for shipment of their household effects.
- Take possession and order the removal and shipment of property of mine from a post, warehouse, depot, dock, or other place of storage or safekeeping, either governmental or private, and execute and deliver a release, voucher, receipt, bill of lading, shipping ticket, certificate, or other instrument for that purpose.
- Prepare, file, and prosecute a claim of mine to a benefit or assistance, financial or otherwise, to which I claim to be entitled, under a statute or governmental regulation.
- Prosecute, defend, submit to arbitration, settle, and propose or accept a compromise with respect to any benefits I may be entitled to receive.
- Receive the financial proceeds of a claim of the type described in this section, conserve, invest, disburse, or use anything received for a lawful purpose.
______ (L) Retirement Plan Transactions.
- Select payment options under any retirement plan in which I participate, including plans for self-employed individuals.
- Make voluntary contributions to those plans.
- Exercise the investment powers available under any self-directed retirement plan.
- Make rollovers of plan benefits into other retirement plans.
- If authorized by the plan, borrow from, sell assets to, and purchase assets from the plan.
- Waive my right to be a beneficiary of a joint or survivor annuity if I am a spouse who is not employed.
______ (M) Tax matters.
- Prepare, sign, and file federal, state, local, and foreign income, gift, payroll, Federal Insurance Contributions Act returns, and other tax returns, claims for refunds, requests for extension of time, petitions regarding tax matters, and any other tax-related documents, including receipts, offers, waivers, consents (including consents and agreements under Internal Revenue Code Section 2032A or any successor section), closing agreements, and any power of attorney required by the Internal Revenue Service or other taxing authority with respect to a tax year upon which the statute of limitations has not run and to the tax year in which the power of attorney was executed and any subsequent tax year.
- Pay taxes due, collect refunds, post bonds, receive confidential information, and contest deficiencies determined by the Internal Revenue Service or other taxing authority.
- Exercise any election available to me under federal, state, local, or foreign tax law.
- Act for me in all tax matters for all periods before the Internal Revenue Service and any other taxing authority.
_____ ALL OF THE POWERS LISTED ABOVE (INITIAL HERE)
IV. GRANT OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY
My agent MAY do any of the following specific acts for me:
______ (A) Create, modify, amend, revoke, or terminate a trust, in whole or part (only as provided in the trust instrument).
______ (B) Fund with my property a trust not created by me or a person authorized to create a trust on behalf of me.
______ (C) Make or revoke a gift of my property in trust or otherwise.
______ (D) Exercise the right to reject, disclaim, release, or consent to a reduction in, or modification of, a share in, or payment from, an estate, trust, or other fund on my behalf.
______ (E) Create or change survivorship interests in my property or in property in which I may have an interest.
______ (F) Designate or change the designation of beneficiaries to receive any property, benefit, or contract right on my death.
______ (G) Make a loan to my agent.
V. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS
UNLESS DIRECTED OTHERWISE ABOVE, THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL IT IS REVOKED.
This power of attorney will continue to be effective even though I become incapacitated.
I agree that any third party who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Revocation of the power of attorney is not effective as to a third party until the third party has actual knowledge of the revocation. I agree to indemnify the third party for any claims that arise against the third party because of reliance on this power of attorney.
Signed this __ day of _________, _____.
Principal’s Signature: ________________
Principal’s Name: __________________
BY ACCEPTING OR ACTING UNDER THE APPOINTMENT, THE AGENT ASSUMES THE FIDUCIARY AND OTHER LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN AGENT.
STATEMENT OF WITNESSES
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of California that:
- The individual who signed or acknowledged this Power of Attorney is personally known to me, or that the individual’s identity was proven to me by convincing evidence.
- The individual signed or acknowledged this Power of Attorney in my presence.
- The individual appears to be of sound mind and under no duress, fraud, or undue influence.
- I am not a person appointed as attorney-in-fact in this Power of Attorney.
First Witness’ Signature: ____________________ Date: ____________________
First Witness’ Name: ________________________________________________
First Witness’ Address: _______________________________________________
Second Witness’ Signature: ____________________ Date: ____________________
Second Witness’ Name: ________________________________________________
Second Witness’ Address: _______________________________________________
CERTIFICATE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF NOTARY PUBLIC
State of California
County of _______________
|A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.|
On this _____ day of _______________, 20___, before me, __________________________, personally appeared __________, personally known to me or who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to this instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she executed the same in his/her authorized capacity, and that by his/her signature on this instrument the person executed this instrument.
I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.
WITNESS my hand and official seal.
My commission expires ________________
NOTICE TO PERSON EXECUTING DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A durable power of attorney is an important legal document. By signing the durable power of attorney, you are authorizing another person to act for you, the principal. Before you sign this durable power of attorney, you should know these important facts:
Your agent (attorney-in-fact) has no duty to act unless you and your agent agree otherwise in writing. This document gives your agent the powers to manage, dispose of, sell, and convey your real and personal property, and to use your property as security if your agent borrows money on your behalf. This document does not give your agent the power to accept or receive any of your property, in trust or otherwise, as a gift, unless you specifically authorize the agent to accept or receive a gift.
Your agent will have the right to receive reasonable payment for services provided under this durable power of attorney unless you provide otherwise in this power of attorney.
The powers you give your agent will continue to exist for your entire lifetime, unless you state that the durable power of attorney will last for a shorter period of time or unless you otherwise terminate the durable power of attorney. The powers you give your agent in this durable power of attorney will continue to exist even if you can no longer make your own decisions respecting the management of your property.
You can amend or change this durable power of attorney only by executing a new durable power of attorney or by executing an amendment through the same formalities as an original. You have the right to revoke or terminate this durable power of attorney at any time, so long as you are competent.
This durable power of attorney must be dated and must be acknowledged before a notary public or signed by two witnesses. If it is signed by two witnesses, they must witness either (1) the signing of the power of attorney or (2) the principal’s signing or acknowledgment of his or her signature. A durable power of attorney that may affect real property should be acknowledged before a notary public so that it may easily be recorded.
You should read this durable power of attorney carefully. When effective, this durable power of attorney will give your agent the right to deal with property that you now have or might acquire in the future. The durable power of attorney is important to you. If you do not understand the durable power of attorney, or any provision of it, then you should obtain the assistance of an attorney or other qualified person.
NOTICE TO PERSON ACCEPTING THE APPOINTMENT AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT
By acting or agreeing to act as the agent (attorney-in-fact) under this power of attorney you assume the fiduciary and other legal responsibilities of an agent. These responsibilities include:
- The legal duty to act solely in the interest of the principal and to avoid conflicts of interest.
- The legal duty to keep the principal’s property separate and distinct from any other property owned or controlled by you.
You may not transfer the principal’s property to yourself without full and adequate consideration or accept a gift of the principal’s property unless this power of attorney specifically authorizes you to transfer property to yourself or accept a gift of the principal’s property. If you transfer the principal’s property to yourself without specific authorization in the power of attorney, you may be prosecuted for fraud and/or embezzlement. If the principal is 65 years of age or older at the time that the property is transferred to you without authority, you may also be prosecuted for elder abuse under Penal Code Section 368. In addition to criminal prosecution, you may also be sued in civil court.
I have read the foregoing notice and I understand the legal and fiduciary duties that I assume by acting or agreeing to act as the agent (attorney-in-fact) under the terms of this power of attorney.
Agent’s Signature: ____________________
Agent’s Name: ______________________
CA Durable POA Download Options:
Use this type of California POA form if you want your agent (the individual receiving the power) to continue acting on your behalf even after you’ve become incapacitated.
Medical Power of Attorney – California
A medical power of attorney grants the agent the power to make medical and health care decisions on the principal’s behalf (e.g., whether to end life support) when the principal is unable to do so themself.
CA Medical POA Download Options:
In California, this type of power of attorney document is called an Advance Health Care Directive and is durable by default. This directive combines a medical power of attorney and a living will. Visit our California Advance Health Care Directive page for more details.
General Power of Attorney – California
A general power of attorney is used to assign broad and sweeping non-medical powers to an agent.
CA General (Financial) POA Download Options:
Examples of powers you can transfer include (but are not limited to):
- Negotiate and sign contracts for purchases, such as homes or vehicles
- Handle banking transactions, including deposits and withdrawals
- Pay bills
- Buy or sell property
- File tax returns with the IRS
- Arrange the distribution of retirement benefits
- Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or California Medical Assistance Program (Medi-Cal) benefits
Limited Power of Attorney – California
In contrast to a general power of attorney, a limited power of attorney limits the powers assigned to an agent to a specific task (or tasks) for a specific period of time.
CA Limited (Specific) POA Download Options:
Choose this form for a single task (e.g., cashing a specific check), or for tasks that need to be performed during a short window of time (e.g., cashing your checks while you’re out of the country for a couple of months).
The above power of attorney sample is not durable. To make your limited power of attorney durable, add the following statement to the “Special Instructions” Section:
“This power of attorney will continue to be effective even though I become incapacitated.”
Real Estate Power of Attorney – California
A real estate power of attorney is a type of limited power of attorney that grants an agent powers to act solely in matters pertaining to the principal’s real property.
CA Real Estate POA Download Options:
The above power of attorney sample is not durable. To make your real estate power of attorney durable, add the following statement to the “Special Instructions” Section:
This power of attorney will continue to be effective even though I become incapacitated.
How to Get Power of Attorney in California
California power of attorney forms can be downloaded from the Sacramento County Public Law Library, but you’re not required to use these exact forms. The state only recommends that you use similar language to what is used in the official form.
The more closely a POA document is customized to your circumstance, the better it will serve you. Choose one or more of the following depending on your needs:
- the durable power of attorney template or other templates above for your non-medical needs
- the medical power of attorney template for your health care needs
- our California-specific power of attorney builder for more complex needs, such as assigning power to more than one agent (“co-agents”)
California Power of Attorney Requirements
In California, any individual 18 years or older who can read and understand a contract can create a power of attorney.
The power of attorney document must comply with regulations outlined in the California Probate Code (Sections 4000 through 4465).
For a power of attorney to be legally sufficient in California, it must:
- carry the date of execution (that is, the date on which all parties have signed the POA)
- be signed by the person seeking it (that is, the principal)
- If the principal is unable to sign, they must direct another to sign it on their behalf and watch said person affix a signature.
- notarized or signed in front of two other witnesses
A California health care directive must be signed by a notary public or signed by the principal in front of two witnesses (the two witnesses also must sign the directive). The principal’s agent, health care provider, or an employee of the provider cannot be witnesses.
While all of the above templates are customizable, it can be tedious to do so for complicated situations, such as when you want to appoint co-agents and describe how the power is split between them. Build valid POAs for such situations simply by answering a few questions in our attorney-crafted California POA builder.