In California, if you possess a power of attorney for another individual, you, the agent, have the legal right to act on behalf of the other individual known as the “principal.” Generally, power of attorney is delegated to an agent when the principal cannot make decisions relating to legal, financial, or health issues.
The principal has the option to determine the scope and limitations of a power of attorney. If you would like more information regarding power of attorney in California, contact the law offices of Cava and Faulkner of Elk Grove, CA, and ask to schedule a free consultation.
What are the Different Types of Power of Attorney in California?
Several different types of power of attorney available in California can be chosen based on your specific needs. The options are as follows:
- General Power of Attorney: This is California’s most inclusive power of attorney. This allows you to designate an agent, also known as an attorney-in-fact. This allows your agent to have all of the legal rights and powers that you possess. However, if you become incapacitated, this type of power of attorney is no longer valid.
- Durable Power of Attorney: This type of power of attorney has the lasting capacity to stay in effect even if you do become incapacitated and can no longer make your own decisions.
- Special or Limited Power of Attorney: The scope of this type of power of attorney is extremely limited and is typically used in order for your agent to make decisions for you if you are unavailable. For instance, you may be out of the country but need to have legal documents signed on your behalf. Once the need is met, a power of attorney is no longer in force.
- Springing Power of Attorney: A springing power of attorney’s legal authority only goes into effect when certain conditions are met, such as when medical professionals determine that the principal can no longer make healthcare decisions for themselves.
When Should I Consider Making a Power of Attorney?
Many individuals make the mistake of waiting until it is too late to consider making a power of attorney. If you become incapacitated, you would no longer be able to make the decision to appoint an agent to act on your behalf. Although it may be difficult to consider, planning ahead for the future is one of the best ways that you can protect your interests should the need arise at a later time.
Can I Have More Than One Power of Attorney?
Under California law, you are permitted to have more than one power of attorney to represent your interests. For example, you may choose to designate a separate agent to make your healthcare, financial, or legal decisions. These various powers of attorney can each be determined by your set of specific needs. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you make a decision as to how you should best proceed.
When Should I Consult With an Attorney About Making a Power of Attorney?
One of the best steps that you can take to protect both yourself and your family is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible about the various power of attorney options that are available. Waiting until a crisis occurs is usually too late, and the State of California could end up appointing someone to make decisions for you.
Contact the law offices of Cava and Faulkner by calling (979) 596-4088 and ask to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.