California Power of Attorney Forms
The California Power of Attorney Forms make it possible for an individual, referred to as the Principal, to select a trusted party, referred to as the Agent, to conduct personal and business affairs in lieu of them. The two main types of Power of Attorney available are Durable and General. However, there are a number of specific use case forms that serve a multitude of purposes, such as for circumstances related to real estate, medical issues, and tax.
What is a California Power of Attorney?
A California Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that makes it possible for an Agent to act on behalf of the Principal where they are unable to for whatever reason. In order to be legally executed, it must be reflective of any relevant stipulations specified by the state the Principal resides in.
- California Power of Attorney Laws – (Division 4.5 “Powers of Attorney”)
- State Definition of Power of Attorney (Division 4.5 Ch.1 §4022) – “‘Power of Attorney’ means a written instrument, however denominated, that is executed by a natural person having the capacity to contract and that grants authority to an attorney-in-fact. A power of attorney may be durable or nondurable.”
- Signing Requirements (Division 4.5 Ch.2 § 4121) – First (1), the document needs to be signed by the Principal or by an individual permitted by the Principal to sign in their name. Second (2), the form needs to be signed in the presence of two (2) witnesses (per Ch.2 § 4122) or by a Notary Public.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Form – This POA is characterized by the enduring nature of the conditions set forth in it, regardless of whether the Principal is incapacitated or not.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney Form – Unlike a durable POA, a General POA will cease to continue if the Principal becomes incapacitated.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Form – A power of attorney form that is employed to detail the use of power of attorney privileges for a specific, rather than general, circumstance.
Medical Power of Attorney Form – This type of POA is used to grant another party the power to make decisions about the Principal’s health and medical matters.
Minor Child Power of Attorney Form – If parents are not present to make decisions regarding the care of their child, they can nominate, via this form, a trustworthy individual to step in when necessary.
Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form Reg 260) – A legal document that establishes an arrangement whereby the Principal hands over responsibility to their Agent for one or many matters in relation to a vehicle they own.
Download – Adobe PDF
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney Form – If a house owner wants to pass on responsibility for matters concerning their property to another party, this document allows them to list the conditions of this arrangement.
Revocation Power of Attorney Form – The Principal has the right to revoke a Power of Attorney form, and they can do so by completing this document.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney (Form FTB 3520) – Tax filing must be done correctly in order to avoid legal and financial penalties. To ensure correct filing, individuals can use this document to elect a qualified professional to file taxes on their behalf.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
As outlined by Division 4.5 Ch.2 § 4121, for a California Power of Attorney to be effective, the following must be satisfied:
- The POA contains the date of its execution
- The Principal signs the document; if not the principal, someone who was chosen by the principal to sign in their name
- The signing of the form is witnessed by a Notary Public or two (2) witnesses