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By: Cava and Faulkner

Why Does California Have Requirements to Become a Power of Attorney?

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Being named Power of Attorney in California is a huge responsibility. Power of Attorney for another individual grants you the authority to make various financial, healthcare, and estate planning decisions.

With that in mind, California has specific legal requirements that every individual must abide by in order to qualify for this duty. These requirements have been established to protect the individual who you will be representing to ensure that their best interests and needs are met by your acting as their legal representative.

Contact the law offices of Cava and Faulkner of Elk Grove, CA, to schedule a free consultation.

What is Power of Attorney?

In California, power of attorney, also known as POA, entitles you to act as a personal representative for another person to make decisions on their behalf. Power of Attorney can be limited to a specific area, such as the authority to make medical decisions, or can cover a wide variety of areas such as finances, healthcare, and other areas specifically outlined in the paperwork that grants legal power of attorney.

What Requirements Need to be Met in Order to Become Power of Attorney?

Due to the serious nature of this obligation, the individual that a person chooses to be their power of attorney must be able to meet specific requirements. The individual must meet what is known as the “capacity to contract,” which means that they have the mental capacity to comprehend the duties and responsibilities associated with the tasks that they will be required to perform, such as:

  • Manage and understand financial resources
  • Resist undue influence from others
  • Resist fraud or the temptation to use financial resources for their own benefit.

How Does Power of Attorney Go Into Effect?

For a power of attorney to be legal in California, the POA forms must meet specific legal requirements such as:

You must sign the document. If you are unable to sign, then another person must witness it for you.

  • The agent and the witnesses must be at least 18 years of age
  • The document must also be signed by at least two other adults.
  • The agent is not permitted to be one of the witnesses.
  • The power of attorney document must be notarized

Can I Revoke the Power of Attorney?

If you are the principal or individual who has created the POA, you have the legal ability to revoke it if and when you wish to do so. Revoking a power of attorney is simply ending the legal agreement that gave another person the legal authority to act on your behalf. Often the situation that required the power of attorney ends, and as a result, the legal agreement is no longer needed.

The individual named as a power of attorney, also called the agent, does not have to approve the cancellation. If you have more questions related to assigning an individual to be a power of attorney, contact Cava and Faulkner of Elk Grove, CA, by calling 916-685-1225 to schedule a free consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and discuss your legal options.