Table of Contents
- What Is Power of Attorney (POA)?
- When and Who Needs Power of Attorney
- Types of Power of Attorney
- General Power of Attorney
- Limited Durable Power of Attorney
- Springing Durable Power of Attorney
- What Type of Power of Attorney to Get?
- Cost of Power of Attorney
- Requirements for Power of Attorney in California
- Do You Need a Lawyer to Get a Power of Attorney in California?
What Is Power of Attorney (POA)?
Power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives a person (the “principal”) the legal authority to appoint another person (the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to make decisions and take action on their behalf. The agent or attorney-in-fact can be given the authority to make financial, health, or other decisions on the principal’s behalf. The principal can grant the agent the authority to take actions immediately, or the authority can become effective at a future date. The principal can also grant the agent the authority to make decisions only in certain matters, such as managing their finances or health care.
When and Who Needs Power of Attorney
A power of attorney can be an important and useful tool for anyone, but it is especially important for seniors who have difficulty managing their own affairs and for people who are unable to make decisions for themselves, such as those with a mental or physical disability. A power of attorney can be used in a variety of situations, including:
- When a person is unable to make decisions for themselves due to illness or injury;
- When a person is unable to physically sign documents;
- When a person is travelling and needs someone to manage their affairs in their absence;
- When a person wants to delegate certain tasks to someone they trust, such as paying bills and filing taxes.
In the United States, any person of the age of 18 or older who is mentally competent can execute a power of attorney. It is important to keep in mind that the principal must be mentally competent at the time of execution, otherwise the document will be invalid.
Types of Power of Attorney
There are several types of power of attorney, including general power of attorney, limited durable power of attorney, and springing durable power of attorney. Each type of power of attorney has its own specific purpose and can be tailored to suit the individual’s needs.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney (GPOA) is a broad and general document that is often used for short-term or temporary situations. In essence, a GPOA gives the agent or attorney-in-fact the authority to take any action the principal could take, with certain exceptions. A GPOA is typically used when a person needs another person to manage their affairs while