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California Power of Attorney basics

If you need to assign a trusted agent to act on your behalf, then you may need to make a Power of Attorney. With a California Power of Attorney form, your agent(s) can be granted the authority to make decisions in your absence, sign documents for you, or otherwise manage your legal and financial matters.


Where can I get a Power of Attorney form?


Making a California Power of Attorney online is simple. Just answer a few questions, and Rocket Lawyer will build your document for you. Consider these questions beforehand to make the process speedier:

  • Who will you designate as your agent, co-agent, and alternate agent?
  • Would you like to grant your agent broad or specific powers?
  • Will your agent have authority over any of your assets, businesses, trusts, or real estate?
  • Will your agent be compensated?

If you don't have all of the details you need, you can skip questions, and save your document for later.


What are the different Power of Attorney forms?


A General Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney, Special Power of Attorney, and Springing Durable Power of Attorney are the main types of Power of Attorney forms.

A General Power of Attorney ends when you become incapacitated. Contrastingly, a Durable Power of Attorney contains specific language which maintains your agent's authority even if you are unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself. Unlike a Durable Power of Attorney, a springing Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective as soon as the document is signed, and only goes into effect once a particular event occurs (e.g. once you become incapacitated).

A Special Power of Attorney, also known as a Limited Power of Attorney, allows an Agent to act only in specific situations.


Why is a Durable Power of Attorney called durable?


As mentioned above, a Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective as soon as it is signed and contains specific language which maintains your agent's authority even if you are unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself.


Can a family member override a Power of Attorney?


Overriding a Power of Attorney requires a strict reading of the document to determine whether the Agent closely followed the wishes of the Principal (the person who created the Power of Attorney).

If you would like to override a California Power of Attorney, consider the following steps:

1) Approach the Principal

A mentally competent Principal still has the ability to revoke the Power of Attorney document at any time.

2) Approach the court

If the mentally competent Principal refuses to revoke the Power of Attorney after sharing your concerns, then you may need to bring the issue to court.

The endeavor of overriding a Power of Attorney is complex, so it is recommended that you speak with an attorney regarding any questions or concerns you may have.


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Sample California Power of Attorney

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