Oceanside Power of Attorney Lawyer
The idea of being unable to make decisions due to an accident or illness sounds terrifying, but an Oceanside power of attorney lawyer can help. While thinking about such a situation may be uncomfortable, it is important to plan for what you want with your finances and assets should you become incapable or pass away.
As part of your estate plan, our California estate planning attorneys at Century Trusts & Estate Planning, PC, strongly recommend using a power of attorney to help you prepare and implement any significant decisions you want to make in your absence.
Contact us to speak with an Oceanside power of attorney lawyer and learn more about how and why a POA can complement your estate plan!
Why Do I Need an Oceanside Power of Attorney Lawyer in California?
Establishing a power of attorney gives a person you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf. However, setting up a power of attorney agreement is not always simple as it may seem. Consulting our Oceanside power of attorney lawyer is the best way to identify and determine what will work best for you.
At Century Trusts & Estate Planning, we are committed to assisting you with various estate planning documents in California. We craft powers of attorney and other legal documents necessary to ensure that your estate planning needs are met.
Our Oceanside estate planning law office provides the following:
- Hands-On Representation. We work with clients one-on-one so they can benefit from our legal experience and knowledge. We can offer hands-on legal guidance to help you precisely appoint your power of attorney.
- Strategic Advice. Every case is unique and has facts that we will carefully review to provide targeted legal advice for your legal matter.
- Effective Advocacy. We will advise on the best approach based on your unique situation, whether at the negotiation table or in the courtroom. We will listen carefully to your needs and goals and help you draft your documents with extensive detail and legal insight.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is an estate planning document that grants specific powers to someone you trust to handle certain matters for you and act on your behalf. Typically, the POA is appointed to manage your affairs when you cannot do so yourself because you are incapacitated by illness or injury.
This decision-making power can encompass many things or be limited to a specific issue. These may cover medical, financial, or general legal choices. POA documents also allow you to ensure your wishes are known and empower you to select the best person for the job.
When you create a POA, you are called the principal, and the person you choose to act for you is called your attorney-in-fact or your agent. You can name your spouse, child, sibling, friend, or anyone you trust to manage your financial or health care matters.
When creating this type of estate planning document, it is highly advisable to consult an Oceanside power of attorney lawyer, who can help ensure that your powers of attorney are legally enforceable and valid.
What are the Different Types of Power of Attorney in California?
In California, there are multiple types of powers of attorney that can address a variety of situations. When creating a POA, you decide how much or how little authority you grant to your agent, along with the types of tasks your agent may perform, depending on the POA type.
Here are the different types of power of attorney documents you can prepare:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Non-Durable Power of Attorney
- Springing Power of Attorney
- General Power of Attorney
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney becomes effective immediately upon signing and remains in effect after the principal becomes incapacitated or mentally incompetent. It is often used to prepare for the possibility that an individual may become unable to manage their medical, financial, and other affairs. A durable POA can come in different forms, such as:
- Durable Financial POA
The agent or attorney-in-fact has control over the financial transactions and documents, such as:
- Handling bank transactions
- Filing and paying your bills and taxes
- Managing your retirement accounts
- Collecting benefits from Medicare, Social Security, and other government programs
- Buying, leasing, or selling real estate
- Durable Healthcare POA
A healthcare or medical POA allows an agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. This only applies if you become temporarily ill and cannot make medical decisions on your own. You can provide your agent with advanced healthcare directives that outline how you wish to receive care under certain situations. This includes the following:
- Withdrawing life-prolonging procedures when you are close to death
- Authorizing organ, tissue, or body donation
- Authorizing the disposition of your remains
Non-Durable (Limited or Special) Power of Attorney
Unlike a durable POA, a non-durable POA (limited or special) ends when you designate it in the document. This type of POA allows your appointed attorney-in-fact to make decisions for you for a specific purpose. Once that purpose is accomplished, the POA expires. It is often used for a one-time task or a particular period.
Springing Power of Attorney
A springing power of attorney is a type of POA that doesn’t “spring” into effect until a triggering event. It does not take effect unless some certain event takes place. Like a durable power of attorney, a springing power of attorney allows your attorney-in-fact to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney is the most comprehensive type of power of attorney available. It allows you to appoint someone as your attorney-in-fact. It can be helpful even when you are not incapacitated but still need help with completing critical financial matters. This POA is limited only by the terms set out in the POA or by any relevant state statute.
How Do I Create a Power of Attorney in California?
A few essential steps must be followed to create a valid POA. An Oceanside power of attorney lawyer can help you draft a comprehensive and legally-enforceable POA in California.
- Choose Your Agent
- Decide How Much Authority to Give Your Agent
- Complete, Sign, and Witness the Form
- Put Copies of Your POA on File
Choose Your Agent
If you decide to execute a power of attorney, you’ll generally name one agent to have decision rights over your affairs. When you’re choosing an agent, it’s a good idea to consider someone you trust to act in your best interests, respect your wishes, and won’t abuse the powers granted to them.
Decide How Much Authority to Give Your Agent
Once you’ve decided on your agent, you must choose how much authority to give them over your affairs. You must specify the financial and medical decisions you want them to make on your behalf.
Complete, Sign, and Witness the Form
To finalize your POA, you will need to sign the document. Depending on your state, you’ll also need to do one of the following:
- Sign the POA in the presence of two witnesses
- Sign the POA in front of a notary public
- Sign the POA in front of both a notary public and two witnesses.
Put Copies of Your POA on File
After creating the POA, you must give your agent a copy of the document and store the original in a safe place that your family or loved ones can access. If you created a health care POA, you should give a copy to the doctors who will most likely be treating you. On the other hand, if you created a financial POA that gives your agent the power to buy or sell real estate, you’ll want to file a copy of the POA in the land records office of the county where you own a property.
Call an Oceanside Power of Attorney Lawyer Now!
While nobody wants to think about becoming incapacitated, creating a power of attorney can spare you and your loved ones from anxiety and stress. Powers of attorney are powerful estate planning tools to ensure your personal and financial matters are properly managed.
Completing a POA gives you the peace of mind that someone can handle things for you if you cannot do so. Because having the power to make financial and medical decisions for someone else is such a serious matter, seeking legal advice is crucial. Our seasoned Oceanside power of attorney lawyer at Century Trusts & Estate Planning can review your estate and advise you which POA fits best with your estate plan.
Whether your loved one is incapacitated and you are a caretaker who needs a power of attorney or would like to create a power of attorney as part of your estate plan, we are here to help. Contact our Oceanside estate planning law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.