Secure your legacy and protect your loved ones with the help of an estate planning lawyer!
Creating a durable power of attorney in California is an essential step in estate planning and ensuring that your affairs are properly managed in accordance with your wishes if you become incapacitated.
At Bottomline Lawyers, we understand the importance of having a durable power of attorney in place. Our team of dedicated attorneys is here to guide you through every step of the process, from selecting a trustworthy agent to ensuring that your documents comply with all legal requirements.
Contact us today for your free consultation to learn which approach is best for your situation.
What is Durable Power of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows a designated person, known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on behalf of another person, known as the principal, in making important decisions or handling financial matters in the event of the principal’s incapacity or disability.
Unlike a regular power of attorney that terminates when the principal becomes incapacitated, a durable power of attorney remains in effect even if the principal becomes unable to make decisions for themselves. It can help ensure that the principal’s affairs are managed according to their wishes and prevent the need for costly guardianship or conservatorship proceedings.
How Does a Durable Power of Attorney Work?
A durable power of attorney works by granting an agent or attorney-in-fact the authority to act on behalf of the principal in making important decisions or handling financial matters in the event of the principal’s incapacity or disability. It becomes effective immediately upon signing, but it is only invoked if and when the principal becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves.
Once the durable power of attorney comes into effect, the agent can perform a variety of tasks on behalf of the principal. The agent must always act in the best interests of the principal and follow any specific instructions or limitations set forth in the durable power of attorney document.
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of an Attorney-in-Fact?
The roles and responsibilities of an agent or attorney-in-fact can vary depending on the specific powers granted in the document. Generally speaking, the agent under a durable power of attorney has the authority to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the principal, including:
- Managing financial affairs – The agent may be responsible for managing the principal’s financial accounts, paying bills, making investments, and filing taxes.
- Making healthcare decisions – If the durable power of attorney includes healthcare powers, the agent may be responsible for making decisions regarding medical treatment, including consenting to or refusing treatment.
- Managing property – The agent may have the power to manage and sell the principal’s real estate or personal property.
- Making legal decisions – The agent may be authorized to make legal decisions, such as hiring an attorney or settling legal disputes.
- Acting in the principal’s best interest – The agent must always act in the best interests of the principal, even if it conflicts with the agent’s personal interests.
It’s important to note that the agent’s powers and responsibilities are limited to those specifically granted in the durable power of attorney document. The agent is also required to keep accurate records of all transactions and activities conducted on behalf of the principal.
Why Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer for Durable Power of Attorney?
In California, even though it is not required to have a lawyer to create a durable power of attorney, it is highly recommended. The California Probate Code sets out the legal requirements for creating a durable power of attorney, including the need for certain specific language and the requirement for witnesses and a notary public.
While it is possible to create a durable power of attorney without a lawyer, doing so increases the risk of errors or omissions that could render the document invalid or fail to achieve your intended goals. You may need an estate planning lawyer for a durable power of attorney for several reasons including:
- Ensuring legal compliance – A durable power of attorney is a legal document that must be executed properly to be enforceable. An estate planning attorney can ensure that your durable power of attorney meets all legal requirements and is valid under California law.
- Customizing the document – A durable power of attorney is not a one-size-fits-all document. An experienced estate planning attorney can tailor the document to your specific needs, taking into account your personal circumstances and goals.
- Preventing disputes – A properly drafted durable power of attorney can help prevent disputes among family members and loved ones regarding the management of your affairs. An estate planning attorney can advise you on the best way to structure your durable power of attorney to minimize the risk of disputes.
- Protecting against abuse – An estate planning attorney can help you select a trustworthy agent and include safeguards in the document to protect against abuse of authority by the agent.
- Prepare estate planning documents – A durable power of attorney is just one component of a comprehensive estate plan. An estate planning attorney can help ensure that your durable power of attorney is coordinated with your other estate planning documents, such as your will or trust, to ensure that your wishes are carried out effectively.
Secure your future with the help of our estate planning lawyer in California. Consult today to ensure your durable power of attorney is legally sound, tailored to your needs, and provides the necessary protection for your financial and legal affairs.
Call our California Estate Planning Attorney Now!
If you’re looking to create a durable power of attorney in California, it’s important to work with a reliable estate planning attorney. It’s crucial to ensure that your durable power of attorney is valid under California law, tailored to your specific needs, and provides maximum protection for you and your loved ones.
At Bottomline Lawyers, we understand the importance of creating a durable power of attorney that is legally sound, effective, and customized. We also offer other legal assistance from bankruptcy, business formation & counseling to tax resolution. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you achieve your estate planning goals and protect your loved ones.