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Durable Power of Attorney

California Durable Power of Attorney

If you’re incapacitated, you don’t want the state of California to make decisions for you. You can’t expect the state to have your best interests in mind, so you need to protect yourself with a Durable Power of Attorney. You’ll use this document to appoint a person to handle financial and health care decisions for you if you cannot make those decisions yourself. For example, if you have a stroke and cannot communicate your wishes, your Durable Power of Attorney will kick in, and your loved one or trusted associate will make decisions for you. This is different from a non-durable power of attorney, which is used when you want to appoint someone to help you get your affairs in order, but it is no longer in effect if you become incapacitated.

R. Dustin MacFarlane will help you get your Durable Power of Attorney in place, so you can plan for the future while enjoying today.

Types of Durable Powers of Attorney

California residents can create a Durable Power of Attorney to manage medical and financial affairs:

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what will happen if you don’t have a durable power of attorney?

If you don’t have a Durable Power of Attorney in place, your loved ones will have to petition the court to obtain a guardianship over you. This is a difficult process for loved ones. They have to serve you with paperwork and take you to court. Because the court system can be slow, you will likely have a temporary guardian while your loved ones wait to be named permanent guardians. This is expensive and embarrassing, and it means a stranger will care for you. Getting a Durable Power of Attorney in place allows your family to avoid this challenging situation. Instead, they can seamlessly transition into making critical decisions on your behalf.

why you need a lawyer to create your durable power of attorney

While you can download and fill out forms to create a Durable Power of Attorney, you’ll be much better served by hiring a lawyer to do it for you. R. Dustin McFarlane will take your situation into account and draft a Durable Power of Attorney that meets your needs. This includes counseling you on selecting an agent and choosing the agent’s powers. Some people choose to give agents the power to make changes to trusts and gift money from the estate, while others provide more limited powers. By using a trust lawyer, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes regarding your Durable Power of Attorney.

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when should you create a durable power of attorney?

It is never too early to create a Durable Power of Attorney as part of your estate plan. If you wait until you are incapacitated, you cannot legally enter into such an agreement. Because a Durable Power of Attorney won’t go into effect until you’re incapacitated, you can create it today while you’re healthy without it impacting your decision-making process. It will then be ready to kick in if you are to become incapacitated and can’t make decisions for yourself.

revoking a durable power of attorney

If you are of sound mind, you can legally revoke a Durable Power of Attorney in California. The state requires that you create an official statement of revocation to invalidate the Durable Power of Attorney. After you create the document, you must distribute it to all people involved with the original power of attorney. However, if your spouse was the agent and you dissolve your marriage, you do not need to revoke it. The court will automatically terminate the agreement, and you will need to select a new agent.

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