Durable Power of Attorney in Sacramento
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Get a power of attorney without a lawyer in California
In the State of California, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer when creating a power of attorney. While legal counsel can be helpful in complex situations, our licensed paralegals can do a power of attorney under your direction and without the collaboration of an expensive lawyer.
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Frequently asked questions
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows a person, called the principal, to delegate authority to another individual, referred to as the agent. Depending on the POA’s terms, the agent’s power can be broad or specific. This document is useful when the principal cannot make decisions due to illness, absence, or other reasons. The agent must act in the principal’s best interest, avoid conflicts of interest, and adhere to a fiduciary duty. A well-prepared POA assures that a reliable party will manage the principal’s affairs when necessary.
The power of attorney’s duration depends on the provisions within the document and the POA type. It may end due to the principal’s death, the principal revoking the POA, a specified event mentioned in the document, or a set time frame’s expiration. A durable power of attorney remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated. In contrast, a springing power of attorney only takes effect upon a particular event and stays effective until the termination conditions are met.
General Power of Attorney – A broad POA, giving the agent extensive authority in legal, financial, and personal matters, subject to legal restrictions. It becomes void if the principal is incapacitated.
Limited Power of Attorney – Also known as a special POA, it grants the agent authority in specific situations. It terminates once the designated task is complete.
Durable Power of Attorney – Remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated, allowing the agent to manage the principal’s affairs. It can be general or limited in scope.
Springing Power of Attorney – Becomes effective only upon a specific event, such as the principal’s incapacity. The triggering condition must be clearly defined.
Advance Health Care Directive – A specialized POA empowering the agent to make medical decisions when the principal is unable to do so, including treatment instructions, end-of-life care, and organ donation preferences.
California law requires specific formalities for executing a power of attorney. Some types of POAs, like a durable power of attorney for finances, necessitate notarization to be legally enforceable. Notarization confirms the principal’s signature and voluntary execution of the document. For real estate transactions, notarized power of attorney is mandatory. Consulting our notary public can help ensure proper notarization of a POA.
Principals can change or revoke a power of attorney if they have the mental capacity. To make modifications, a new POA document should be executed, or an amendment document should be drafted, signed, and notarized if needed. To revoke a POA, the principal must prepare a written revocation document and inform the third parties relying on the POA. Proper execution, including notarization, should be followed. It is also recommended to destroy copies of the revoked POA to prevent misuse. An experienced attorney can ensure the revocation process is carried out correctly.
A power of attorney, will, and trust serve different legal functions and are essential components of estate planning. A POA allows an agent to manage the principal’s affairs during their lifetime, while a will or trust addresses asset distribution after the principal’s death. A will contains instructions for asset distribution, while a trust involves a trustee managing assets on behalf of beneficiaries. In essence, having a power of attorney does not eliminate the need for a will. Get assistance from a reliable will lawyer to create an estate plan for your loved ones.
The cost of obtaining a power of attorney depends on the document’s complexity and the professional services required for drafting. Different types of POAs, such as general, limited, durable, and springing, can also impact the associated costs.
The main expense comes from attorney fees for drafting the document. These fees can range from $100 to $500 per hour, depending on the attorney’s experience and case complexity. A simple power of attorney may cost between $500 to $800, while more complex cases involving real estate, healthcare, or financial management can be significantly higher.
If you don’t need legal advice or court representation, a more affordable option exists. Our Legal Document Assistants are licensed to prepare various legal documents, including powers of attorney. Our fee for a power of attorney is $250 per person.