California Power of Attorney Forms [10 Types] – PDF | Word

Power of Attorney California

A California Power of Attorney allows an individual (a principal) to legally appoint another person (an agent) to make financial, medical, and property decisions on their behalf.

The agent is granted exclusive powers to handle affairs specified in the document. The agent may be a close friend or relative and must make decisions in the principal’s best interest. The principal can opt to grant a few or a broad range of powers to be exercised for a long or short period.

There are a number of tasks that the agent may perform on the principal’s behalf, including financial transactions, negotiation, and signing of contracts, bill payments, hiring and firing of employees, and the purchase and sale of stocks, bonds, and other securities. A power of attorney can only be exercised while the principal is still alive and should not be mistaken for a will.

Who Needs It?

California’s power of attorney form is used by anyone with money or assets that need to be protected. It ensures that a trusted agent handles the principal’s financial affairs. Homeowners or individuals with multiple properties can also use a power of attorney to ensure the agent acts on matters such as the estate’s maintenance or sale. In addition, a power of attorney in California is used when the principal is incapacitated due to illness or in the event the person is unavailable due to activities such as travel.

It also helps to give an individual’s spouse or family the ability to take over their affairs as they are not automatically authorized based solely on their relation to the principal. The principal can outline how powers will be exercised if they opt to appoint more than one agent. The principal must only sign a power of attorney in California while competent to ensure they are fully aware of the powers they are appointing to the other party.

Types of Power of Attorney

There are numerous kinds of powers of attorney in California. The tasks or transactions to be performed will determine what POA is used. Understanding the various types will help ensure that the correct details are included in the document. It will also ensure to clarify California state laws related to the selected power of attorney.

The following are the various types of California powers of attorney:


health care attorney form doc

Advance Health Care Directive

The advance health care directive is a power of attorney that combines a living will with medical power of attorney. It allows the principal to appoint agents and outline medical or surgical treatment options they want in the future should they be unable to decide. The principal can refer to Prob § 4605, which provides a state definition of the advance health care directive. According to PROB § 4701,  the document must be signed with two witnesses or a notary public. There are five versions of the document, including AARP, California Attorney General, California Hospital Assoc, UCLA, and UCSF Medical Center. A statutory form of an advance health care directive can be obtained from the PROB § 4701.

Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)


durable power attorney form

Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney

The durable (Statutory) power of attorney is a legal document that enables a principal to authorize an agent to make decisions on financial matters. The powers remain even in the event of the principal's incapacitation or until the document is revoked. According to PROB Division 4.5 (Powers of Attorney)  Section 4124 (§ 4018), the durability of the document must satisfy the requirements outlined in it. CA Prob Code § 4402(c) states principal's signature must be notarized while that of the agent does not require notarization. There are five versions the Standard Version, LaCounty.Gov Version, Salinas Law Group Version, San Mateo County Law Library version, and The Honest Lawyer Version. A statutory form of the durable power of attorney can be obtained from Probate Code § 4401.

Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)


general attorney doc

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney is a California POA that authorizes an attorney-in-fact to act on the principal's financial affairs. It is only effective while the principal is alive and can make decisions. If the principal becomes incapacitated, it becomes void. Though it is not a durable power of attorney, it can be turned into one. The principal must review Probate Code Division 4.5. Power of attorney [4000-4545] to obtain the definition, provisions, a statutory form, and jurisdictional proceedings about this type of power of attorney in California. According to Prob. Code § 4450  the agent can only exercise the broad range of powers indicated in the document. In addition, the general power of attorney should be signed in the presence of two witnesses, or a notary public as indicated in  Prob. Code § 4121.

Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)


limited california attorney doc

Limited Power of Attorney

The limited power of attorney gives the agent the authority to act in matters about the principal's real estate and personal property for a specific time or event. Using these powers, the agent can buy, sell and maintain the property on behalf of the principal, according to Prob. Code §  4262, the agent's authority is limited to the actions, subjects, or purpose outlined in the document. This type of power of attorney in California can be signed in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public. The statutory form can be obtained from the  Probate Code Division 4.5 Power of Attorney [4000-4545].

Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)


minor child power attorney free doc

Parental (Minor) Power of Attorney

A parental (minor) power of authority is a type of California Power of Attorney that is used by a parent or guardian that is sick or hospitalized, traveling overseas, or for any other reason unable to care for their children. The principal gives the agent the authority to act as a short-term guardian taking care of the children's education healthcare and making other decisions on their behalf for a specified period. Any particular need or concerns that the principal may have about each child should be outlined in the power of attorney form. The principal can revoke the powers before the period indicated in the document lapses. The principal should consult the state laws outlined in the Probate Code § 1510-1517 when considering the parental power of attorney.

Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)


real estate power free doc

Real Estate Power of Attorney

A real estate power of attorney grants limited power to an agent as they are tasked with overseeing matters of the principal's real property. The principal may revoke the agent's powers at any time. A new power of attorney may also be enacted, voiding the old one. This type of power of attorney in California is not durable; however, this can be changed by adding a special instructions section that keeps the real estate power of attorney effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated. When considering a real estate power of attorney, the principal should consider the laws outlined in the  Probate Code Division 4.5. Power of Attorney [4000-4545]. According to Prob. Code § 4121 real estate power of attorney should be signed in the presence of a witness or notary public. In addition, if the agent plans to record any real estate instrument with the proper court or registry of the jurisdiction, then the document must be notarized as stipulated in the Gov. Code § 27287.

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revocation form word

Revocation Power of Attorney

A revocation power of attorney allows the principal to cancel and void a signed power of attorney. It must contain any tasks performed by the agent or that would have been performed to ensure that the document is evident on the revoked powers. It should also be signed in the presence of a notary public. The agent's termination should only carry out per California laws as indicated in § 4253.

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tax power attorney word doc

Tax Power of Attorney (FTB 3520)

A tax power of attorney or form FTB 3520 allows a principal to appoint an agent to discuss tax-related matters like filing taxes with the IRS on their behalf. It helps show that the appointed agent is the principal's legal representative and can receive their tax information. It must be signed under California state laws.

Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)


motor vehicle power attorney doc

Vehicle Power of Attorney (REG 260)

A vehicle power of attorney allows the principal to authorize an agent to handle car-related issues with the Department of moto vehicle. The issues may include transferring the title or registration of the car. The document must contain a complete description of the vehicle. According to the state of California, the vehicle power of attorney must be signed in the presence of a notary public.

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California Springing Power of Attorney

Springing Power of Attorney

A spring power of attorney only comes into effect once certain conditions are met. It may come to effect at a specific time in the future, such as a month or a year from when it is signed or in the event of certain conditions such as the principal's incapacitation. It can also be a limited or general power of attorney.

Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Legal Requirements

    For a power of attorney in California to be used, it must meet specific requirements. For example, for a practical document to be created, the principal must be 18 years and above, of sound mind, and able to read and understand the agreement. Other requirements outlined in the California Probate Code section [4000-4465] include ensuring that the indication of the date of execution, the principal’s signature or representative, and the document must be notarized or signed in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must be adults, and the agent cannot be a witness. The witnesses may either witness the actual signing of the agreement or an acknowledgment by the principle that affirms the signature indicated in the document.

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    california power of attorney form

      How to Obtain a Power of Attorney in California?

      To get a power of attorney, the principal and agent should be identified. A power of attorney specific to the state of California should then be obtained and filled. It should be customized to the agreement between the principal and agent while also clearly outlining what tasks must be performed. Finally, it should be signed by the principal and agents in the preference of a notary public or two witnesses. If the principal dies, a power of attorney becomes void as it is only effective while they are still alive.

      How to execute it?

      A California power of attorney should only be signed once to meet the state’s legal requirements. Once it is signed, it can be executed. A copy of the document should be provided to the agent and any other relevant parties, such as the principal’s doctor, bank, or relevant authority.

      Disclaimer: The principal should consider getting legal advice before signing a power of attorney document. Seeking legal advice can help the principal or rights holder decide on the type of power of attorney that best meets their needs and circumstances.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Can a power of attorney be revoked?

      Yes. A California power of attorney can be revoked. A revoked power of attorney means that the agent will no longer be able to act on the principal’s behalf. The principal does not need the agent’s approval to revoke power of attorney.

      Can the principal name more than one power of attorney?

      A principal can name more than one power of attorney in California. Then, they must assign powers to the agents selected. The principle will determine how much power to grant each agent.

      When will the POA become effective?

      The type of power of attorney will determine when it becomes effective. For instance, the durable power of attorney comes into effect upon signing it and only becomes void if revoked by the principal or invalidated by a court that determines that the principal was not of sound mind when it was created. The California springing power of attorney becomes effective at a specific time or upon a specific event like incapacitation. A health power of attorney comes into effect when the principal cannot make their own medical decisions.

      Does signing a POA mean that the principal cannot make their decisions anymore?

      Signing a POA does not take away the principal’s rights to make decisions on their own accord. Instead, it aims or ensures that the agents only act in the principal’s best interests, making it a convenient document. But, of course, the principal can still override the agent’s decisions or revoke a power of attorney in writing.