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Does The Oldest Child Have Power of Attorney In Northern California?

Power of attorney is a legal authority that allows someone to manage business affairs and make legal and financial decisions on behalf of the owner. Many individuals believe that the eldest child automatically receives this authority, which is untrue. 

If you’re also worrying about the same question of whether the oldest child has power of attorney in northern California or not, rest assured. This guide is devised to help you out regarding the matter of POA. 

By reading this guide, you’ll get answers to all questions, including who gets the power of attorney and how to give the right to a POA to someone. We’ll discuss the entire process of giving POA rights, so be with us until the end and find the answers.  

Does The Oldest Child Have The Power of Attorney?

No, the oldest child does not automatically have power of attorney. The authority is granted only if the parents specifically give the oldest child POA rights. If parents haven’t given the right to the elder child but to someone else, the power of attorney belongs to them. 

The person with power of attorney can make decisions on behalf of the property owner. It’s best suited for emergencies, like accidents or medical conditions, allowing the owner to rest without worrying about managing the business.

The person with the power of attorney can work on behalf of the owner and take care of everything. Remember, the power of attorney can be transferred to anyone, including family members, friends or any adult. So it’s not just the “oldest child.”

How Do You Give Power of Attorney To The Oldest Child In California?

The oldest child doesn’t get power of attorney in California by law. However, parents can grant them this authority by following the simple steps outlined below. If you wish to give power of attorney to someone else, you can also use the same method.

1. Types of Power of Attorney

The first step is to understand the different types of power of attorney. There are basically four types of power of attorney. Each type transfers different power in specific situations, so it’s important to understand them carefully. 

  • Medical Power of Attorney: This gives the right to manage the business and make decisions when the owner is physically ill or unable to decide.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: True to its name, it’s durable and continues to provide power even if the owner is incapacitated.
  • General Power of Attorney: This grants broad powers for almost any matter but ends upon the principal’s death or if they become incapacitated.
  • Limited or Special Power of Attorney: This is specific and tailored, providing limited powers for particular situations.

2. California Power of Attorney Requirements

To nominate someone as a power of attorney involves meeting certain requirements. For individuals who don’t follow these requirements, their power of attorney documents won’t be considered valid, and the chosen person can’t make important decisions. 

  • Age: The property owner and the person to whom they want to give power of attorney must be 18 or older.
  • Mental Health: The mental health of property owners should be good. If they can’t understand what’s going on, it won’t be considered valid.
  • Signature: The signature of the property owner on the power of attorney papers in the presence of a notary is necessary. 
  • Witness: Two adult witnesses must also sign the papers before a notary.

All of the requirements above are the general requirements. There might be or not more requirements depending on the POA type you’re selecting. For instance, real estate power of attorney must be notarised, and the medical POAs should be signed in front of an ombudsman. 

3. Create POA In California

Create the POA documents after figuring out the type of power of attorney. There are many online power of attorney document builders available that can be used to generate the POA for free without hiring an estate attorney. 

However, be cautious. Even though online POA makers are helpful, they’re just tools, and mistakes can happen. To ensure everything is legally accurate, it’s best to consider hiring an estate attorney for this job. 

Does California Require Witnesses For Power of Attorney?

Yes, California does require two witnesses for power of attorney, but there are specific requirements they must meet. Any witness who doesn’t meet the requirements can’t sign the power of attorney paper. 

  • Age Requirement: The witness must be 18 years or older.
  • Mental Competence: Both witnesses should be mentally competent, meaning they understand what’s happening.
  • Agent as Witness: The person to whom you’re giving power of attorney cannot act as a witness.

Conclusion

No, the oldest child doesn’t get the right of power of attorney by law in California unless parents appoint them. To give the oldest child a POA, first consider the types of power of attorney that can be provided, like medical, durable, general power of attorney and so forth. 

Once you’ve selected the type of attorney, make sure to read the requirements. Then, create the power of attorney documents, either with the help of an estate planning attorney or with an online POA maker. 

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Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.

By Dustin MacFarlane

Dustin MacFarlane’s primary focus is on Elder Law and protecting families and seniors. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization — a rare distinction.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. MacFarlane worked in the Long Term Care industry. After becoming licensed to practice law in January of 2009, Elder Law quickly became his focus. Seeing the need during his former career, Mr. MacFarlane pursued Elder Law as a primary area of practice.