Financial power of attorney in California is a written instrument in which one person designates to another person or agent to act on behalf of the principal. Attorney can manage your finances only when you become incapacitated. The power of the attorney for finances has to be documented by you, but if you become unable to do so or decide on a durable power of the attorney, then your spouse or relatives have to ask a court for authority over at least some of your financial affairs.
In California, financial power of attorney comes into effect when the document is signed by you and you become incapable to manage your finances. Mention in the document that you want the power of your attorney to be durable. If you don’t, the power of your attorney will end up automatically when you become incapacitated. However, remember, financial power of attorney in California does not come into effect unless a doctor certifies that you are incapable of managing your finances.
When you create and sign a durable power of attorney, you give your agent or attorney legal authority to act on your behalf. Generally, people give their agent broad power to handle their finances. However, you may give all or some of the power listed below.
- Attorney in California can make payments for your everyday expenses or for your family from the asset.
- Can buy, sell, and pay taxes on your mortgage real estate or any other property.
- Your attorney can collect your Social Security, Medicare, or other governmental benefits.
- He/she can invest in stock, bond and mutual funds.
- Can communicate with banks and other financial institutions on your behalf.
- Can have the right of buying and selling insurance policies and annuities for you.
- Can handle your business dealings.
- Can also file and pay taxes for you.
- He/she may transfer property to a trust if you have already made one.
- Last but not the least he can also manage your retirement accounts.
In California, if you want to make a legally valid durable power of attorney, you need to fill out a form carefully and fill in the blanks that are a few pages long. But in some states you need not have to fill out any form in order to make a legally valid durable power of attorney.
In some states, banks and brokerage companies also have their own durable power of attorney forms. So you will have to fill out the form provided by your financial institution along with your own form. In other states, witnesses must be present when you sign the document so you will need to sign it in front of a notary public.
In conclusion, attorney in each state works in several different ways for finances. In California, your attorney will start managing your finances once it is certified that you are incapable of managing finances by your own. Attorney can have broad power of finances, but that depends on how much power you designate to your attorney.