What is a California Power of Attorney?
Do you have legal documents that will ensure that your affairs are in order if you’d fall ill or be incapacitated today? Having a will is an excellent step as it takes care of things when you are no longer here. But, you need the control over your affairs falling in the right hands should you be disabled, unavailable temporarily or incapacitated, don’t you think?
Well, that document is a power of attorney. It refers to a legal arrangement or a legal instrument that authorizes another party to make decisions on your behalf when you are not in a position to make the decisions. Since you write down your wishes in the document, your wishes will be honored despite your inability to talk. For the validity of the document, it needs to be signed and notarized.
The party you grant power over your health, kids or financial is the agent or the attorney-in-fact, and the document will refer to you as the principal. You may also refer to the document as the letter of attorney, the letter of authority, or the letter of authorization. You’ll have to fill power of attorney form to kickstart the process.
Which are the main types of powers of attorney (POA)?
California Durable Power of Attorney Laws
The durable POA covers your wishes regarding health care. The document gives an agent the authority matters regarding your health, including but not limited to artificial life support. The document states whether a principal wishes to be connected the respirator as an extreme health measure, or not. The agent will also need the document to decide on the principal’s care, medical procedures, diagnosis, treatment, and other services related to the principal’s physical or mental status.
The agent can also decide if the attending physician should start, continue, discontinue, or increase the limit of their health care. Like the principal, the agent has the right to receive any consent or information on health care decisions and records.
However, the agent cannot make decisions on health matters like convulsions, psychosurgery, abortion, sterilization, or commitment.
Requirements for authorizing the attorney-in-fact
The authority given to the agent should be signed and dated in the presence of 2 witnesses who have to sign the documents too, attesting to the signature of the principal. They should also sign a statutory declaration under §4701. The document also needs to be notarized by a licensed notary public in which case the latter prevails over the declaration as stated in §7185 et seq.
The document also needs to be in accordance with the requirements of the statutory form as stated in §4703.
The process of revoking the durable POA
The agent doesn’t have any authority over the principal if the principal is still in a position to give consent over their health care.
And, while able to make sound decisions about their health, the principal can revoke the powers granted to the agents. For revocation,
The principal may revoke the agent’s appointment in writing or oral form.
The principal may also dismiss the authority of the agent by giving oral or written notice to the physician
A newer durable POA will dismiss the powers granted in the earlier letter of authority.
If the principal divorces from their spouse, the former spouse designated the agent ceases holding power over the principal’s health.
As you fill your free California power of attorney form, note that the powers in the letter of attorney will be enforceable in a different jurisdiction or state if it is within the acceptable laws of the new jurisdiction or state, or when it is in substantial compliance with California laws.
Immunity for the attending physician
If the attending physician makes a health care decision on behalf of the principal (or in their own) in good faith, they will not be subject to civil, criminal or professional liability. This is, however, subject to some limitations.
California Limited Power of Attorney Law
This letter of authority allows a principal only to issue specific powers to an agent. The agent will only act on the specific matters when the principal is unable to give the orders or when unavailable.
The limited POA remains in place unless the principal issues a revocation order. For revocation, the principal has to send the agent a written revocation order/ notice. The notice should also be issued to all the affected third parties.
What makes the limited letter of authority legally sufficient?
Having the date of execution and the principal’s signature. In place of the principal’s signature, the principal’s name written by another adult with the principal’s direction and presence.
The letter of authority should be acknowledged before the public and a licensed notary and/ or signed by a minimum of 2 witnesses who must satisfy the legal requirements set out in section 4122.
California Power of Attorney for Childcare Law
If you are filling in your free power of attorney form in California looking to hand over power over your child to a non-parent for a period of your unavailability, you’ll need a POA for childcare. Authority granted often covers medical treatment and other significant matters.
It is, however, revocable (even before expiry) as long as you issue a revocation form and deliver it personally to the person with the letter of authority at the time.
Whether you live in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento or any other city of California, you can use our power of attorney forms efficiently.