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What is a California Power of Attorney?

A California Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that grants a selected individual permission to handle legal matters on your behalf, such as selling your property, accessing bank accounts, and signing contracts. 
 
The person granting control is called the "principal," and the person or entity gaining powers is called the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact." Suited for residents of California, our Power of Attorney can be used in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and in all other counties and municipalities in the state. All California PoA forms from Rocket Lawyer can be completely customized for your particular circumstances. This legal document will provide verification to financial institutions and other parties that your selected representative can act in your interest when you are not present or able.

When to use a California Power of Attorney:

  • You wish to give someone broad authorization to act for you if you are absent or incapable.
  • You wish to give someone power to handle certain financial or legal issues in your absence or if you become ill.
  • You wish to authorize someone to act on your behalf if case you become legally incompetent or incapacitated.

Sample California Power of Attorney

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I, , residing at , , , hereby appoint Each Agent may act independently, without the consent of the other Agent. The Agents must act jointly, with the consent of the other Agent.

 

or if we become legally separated or divorced, If either Agent is unable to serve for any reason, the other Agent shall serve alone. If either Agent is unable to serve for any reason, I appoint , of , , , as a Successor Co-Agent to serve jointly with the remaining Agent, with the same powers and discretions. If either Agent is unable to serve for any reason or if we become legally separated or divorced, I appoint , of , , as my Successor Agent to serve alone. If both Agents are unable to serve (either together or independently) I appoint , , , to act as my Alternate Successor Agent to serve alone.

My Agent shall have full power and authority to act on my behalf. This power and authority shall authorize my Agent to manage and conduct all of my affairs and to exercise all of my legal rights and powers, including all rights and powers that I may acquire in the future. My Agent's powers shall include, but not be limited to, the power to:

 

 

I hereby revoke any and all general powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me. I hereby revoke any and all special powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me. I hereby revoke any and all general powers of attorney and special powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me. However, the preceding sentence shall not have the effect of revoking any powers of attorney that are directly related to my healthcare that previously have been signed by me.
Each of my co-agents may act independently for me.My co-agents may act for me only if the co-agents act jointly.

  - Create, amend, revoke, or terminate an inter vivos trust

  - Make a gift subject to the limitations under federal law and any Special Instructions under this Power of Attorney

  - Create or change rights of survivorship

  - Create or change a beneficiary designation

  - Authorize another person to exercise the authority granted under this power of attorney

  - Waive the principal's right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan

  - Access the content of electronic communications

  - Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate

  - Disclaim or refuse an interest in property, including a power of appointment

This Power of Attorney shall be construed broadly as a General Power of Attorney. The listing of specific powers is not intended to limit or restrict the general powers granted in this Power of Attorney in any manner.

 

Any power or authority granted to my Agent under this document shall be limited to the extent necessary to prevent this Power of Attorney from causing, (i) my income to be taxable to my Agent, (ii) my assets to be subject to a general power of appointment by my Agent, or (iii) my Agent to have any incidents of ownership with respect to any life insurance policies that I may own on the life of my Agent.

 

LIMITATION ON AGENT'S AUTHORITY

 

An agent that is not my ancestor, spouse, or descendant SHALL NOT use my property to benefit the agent or a person to whom the agent owes an obligation of support unless I have included that authority in the Special Instructions.

 

THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IS NOT AFFECTED BY MY SUBSEQUENT DISABILITY OR INCAPACITY. THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY BECOMES EFFECTIVE UPON MY DISABILITY OR INCAPACITY.

My Agent shall not be liable for any loss that results from a judgment error that was made in good faith. However, my Agent shall be liable for willful misconduct or the failure to act in good faith while acting under the authority of this Power of Attorney. A Successor Agent shall not be liable for acts of a prior Agent.

 

 

My Agent shall provide an accounting for all funds handled and all acts performed as my Agent as required under state law or upon my request or the request of any authorized personal representative, fiduciary or court of record acting on my behalf.

 

This Power of Attorney is granted in, and shall be governed by the laws of the state of California; however, I intend that this Power of Attorney be universally recognized and that it be universally admissible to recordation. In the event that I become a resident of another jurisdiction, or obtain property, including real property or any other property interest, in another jurisdiction, it remains my intention that the laws of California shall continue to govern this Power of Attorney.

 

This Power of Attorney shall become effective immediately. on . upon written certification by my physician that I am incapacitated or mentally incapable of managing my financial affairs, and shall not be affected by my disability or lack of mental competence, except as may be provided otherwise by an applicable state statute. This is a Durable Power of Attorney. immediately, and shall not be affected by my disability or lack of mental competence, except as may be provided otherwise by an applicable state statute. This is a Durable Power of Attorney. on , and shall not be affected by my disability or lack of mental competence, except as may be provided otherwise by an applicable state statute. This is a Durable Power of Attorney. This Power of Attorney shall continue effective until or until I lack sufficient mental competence to understand and handle my financial and personal affairs or until I lack sufficient mental competence to understand and handle my financial and personal affairs. This Power of Attorney may be revoked by me at any time by providing written notice to my Agent.

 

Dated ____________________, ______, at , .

 

 

 

__________________________________

 

 

A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual(s) who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.

 

General Special Durable

A notary public

Two witnesses

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California Power of Attorney FAQs

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  • How do I get power of attorney in California?

    It's quick and easy to assign or receive the support you need using a free California Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make your document - Provide a few general details and we will do the rest
    2. Send or share - Discuss the document with your agent or get legal advice
    3. Sign it - Required or not, notarization and witnesses are encouraged

    This method is, in many cases, notably less expensive than working with a traditional provider. If needed, you can fill out a PoA on behalf of a family member, and then have that person sign when ready. Please remember that for a PoA form to be valid, the principal must be an adult who is mentally competent at the time of signing. If the principal is already unable to make their own decisions, a court-appointed conservatorship might be required. When dealing with this situation, it's important to work with an attorney .

  • Why should I have a California PoA?

    Every adult ought to have a Power of Attorney. Although it is tough to acknowledge, there will likely come a day when you are no longer able to handle your day-to-day affairs on your own. There will also be moments when you're merely out of reach. Here are a few typical occasions where a PoA can be helpful:

    • You are getting older or have declining health or limited mobility
    • You are living abroad or out of state
    • You wish to grant a trusted person general authority to take legal actions on your behalf in the event that you are legally incapacitated or absent
    • You currently live in a residential care facility and need help managing your finances

    Whether this California Power of Attorney has been generated as part of a forward-looking plan or created as a result of an unexpected issue, notarization and/or witnesses are highly encouraged as a best practice for protecting your agent if a third party questions their privileges and authority.

  • Which type of Power of Attorney do I need in California?

    There are multiple ways to categorize Power of Attorney documents. They are primarily based on when the powers come into effect, how long they will remain in effect, and what they will provide authority over. Often, you may see them separated into the four groups below:

    • Durable Power of Attorney - Will remain valid even if you become mentally incompetent or incapacitated
    • Springing Power of Attorney - Will come into effect based on certain guidelines
    • General Power of Attorney - Will grant a broad scope of authority over your affairs
    • Special Power of Attorney - Will grant limited authority over specified matters

    When generating your free California Power of Attorney with Rocket Lawyer, you may opt to have the power begin on a desired date, immediately, or only when you are no longer capable. The Power of Attorney may end on a particular date or upon your death.

  • Do I need to work with an attorney for my California PoA?

    California Power of Attorney forms are normally straightforward, but you or your agent could still have questions. The answer can depend on whom you ask, but quite often some lawyers will not even accept requests to review a document if they were not the author. An easier approach would be via Rocket Lawyer attorney services. When you become a Premium member, you will be able to ask for guidance from an attorney with relevant experience or get answers to additional questions related to your Power of Attorney. As always, we are here for you.

  • On average, how much would it typically cost for me to get a Power of Attorney form in California?

    The cost of finding and working with a conventional attorney to produce a Power of Attorney could be between $200 and $500. When using Rocket Lawyer, you aren't just filling out a Power of Attorney template. In case you ever need help from a lawyer, your Premium membership offers up to a 40% discount when you hire an Rocket Lawyer network attorney.

  • What should I do after I have created a California Power of Attorney?

    As a Rocket Lawyer member, you can edit it, download it as a Word or PDF file, and/or print it out. To make your Power of Attorney truly legal, you will need to sign it. Your agent(s), financial institutions, and other impacted parties should get a copy of the final document.

  • Does a Power of Attorney need to be notarized, witnessed, and/or recorded in California?

    The specifications governing PoA forms will be different in each state; however, in California, your Power of Attorney will need the signatures of two witnesses or a notary public. If your agent will have the ability to handle real estate transactions, the Power of Attorney must be acknowledged by a notary public and recorded or filed with your county. Finally, as a basic rule, witnesses must be over 18 years old, and none of them should also be acting as your agent.

    See California Power of Attorney law: § 4121 - 4130

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