Updated: Dec 22, 2022
A Guide To The Different Types Of POA In California Estate Planning
A Power of Attorney (POA) plans a person's or an estate's long-term care. It constitutes a transfer of decision-making authority, most helpful when you're in any way incapable of making the decisions or actions yourself.
Here's a quick guide to the different types of POAs often handled by Long Beach Estate Planning Lawyers in California.
Many people create POAs to provide an agent control over their finances, healthcare, or both if they become incapacitated.
That said, there are many types of power of attorney. A Power of Attorney can be either a general or limited power of attorney and can be durable and nondurable.
Differentiating General And Limited Power Of Attorney
The most important distinction between these two types is the amount of permission someone is given to execute decisions:
A general POA allows someone to act on behalf of another person in any situation.
A limited POA authorizes the agent to act only in particular situations and should spell out the agent's responsibilities and duties.
A limited POA may also be valid for a set amount of time, such as while the principal is away from the nation or otherwise unavailable to execute tasks.
When drafting a POA, you need to know everything that entails the specific type you want to be made. To make sure you choose and draft the right one for you, contact a Long Beach Estate Planning Attorney to help you.
Differentiating Durable And Nondurable Power Of Attorney
After the principal becomes mentally incapable, a durable power of attorney permits continuous control of legal, property, financial, or healthcare matters as specified in the agreement. If the principal becomes in any way incapable, nondurable powers of attorney are automatically revoked.
All powers of attorney are created as durable in estate planning, which includes establishing arrangements for an individual's eventual incapacity.
By incorporating the wording "This power of attorney shall become effective upon the principal's incapacity," a power of attorney in California becomes a conditional or "springing" power of attorney.
With a power of attorney in place, the agent can take over and make any decisions that the principal would have taken if they hadn't become incompetent.
However, even a durable power of attorney can only act on behalf of the principal while he or she is still alive. The executor of the estate manages the principal's affairs after their death. The same person or entity can fill these positions, but they require different court filings.
To determine what type of POA you need, consult with a Long Beach Estate Planning Lawyer. Your attorney will know your rights and can protect you from any possible abuse in the future.
How Do You Make A Power Of Attorney Official?
In a Power Of Attorney, the agent or attorney should be someone the individual trusts to make decisions that align with his or her wishes. Separate forms for creating a general financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney have been created by California law.
The main and two witnesses must sign the paperwork, and the financial POA form must be signed in front of a notary public or an attorney.
Each transaction done under the POA must be documented by the individual serving as power of attorney. Any of the principal's family members or other interested parties can also request to see the records or accounting of how the principal's finances are handled, and the agent must cooperate.
Failure to retain proper records of transactions is a breach of the agent's fiduciary duties under California law. If an interested party claims that the records aren't up to par, the agent must prove in court that they are doing a good job.
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