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Governing Law

Built for California
Different states have different rules and regulations. Your Power of Attorney will be customized for California.
Frequently Asked Questions

Which Governing Law should I choose?A power of attorney is governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the actions of the attorney-in-fact will be performed. Normally, this is the place in which the property of the principal is located. Therefore, it is not a good idea to appoint an attorney-in-fact who resides in a different jurisdiction, unless the property or assets you want the attorney-in-fact to deal with are also in the different jurisdiction.

If you anticipate that your attorney-in-fact will be acting in more than one jurisdiction, you should probably make separate powers of attorney for each jurisdiction.
Governing Law examples.Examples:

  • If your bank accounts and other property are located in the jurisdiction where you live, you will want to choose that jurisdiction for the governing law, and appoint an attorney-in-fact who lives in the same jurisdiction.
  • If you live in one jurisdiction but have a bank account or other property someplace else, and you want an attorney-in-fact to deal with that property, you will want to choose the place where the property is located as the governing law, and appoint an attorney-in-fact who is located in (or is willing to travel to) the same jurisdiction as the property.
  • Jane in Texas wants her son Bob in Ohio to sell Jane's condo in Florida. The Governing Law in this example is Florida.
Your Power of AttorneyUpdate Preview

POWER OF ATTORNEY

THIS Power of Attorney is given by me, ____________________ (the "Principal"), presently of ____________________, ____________________, in the State of California, on this 30th day of October, 2014.

  1. Previous Power of Attorney
  2. I REVOKE any previous power of attorney granted by me.
  3. Attorney-in-fact
  4. I APPOINT __________________, of ____________________, ____________________, California, to act as my Attorney-in-fact.
  5. Governing Law
  6. This document will be governed by the laws of the State of California. Further, my Attorney-in-fact is directed to act in accordance with the laws of the State of California at any time he or she may be acting on my behalf.
  7. Liability of Attorney-in-fact
  8. My Attorney-in-fact will not be liable to me, my estate, my heirs, successors or assigns for any action taken or not taken under this document, except for willful misconduct or gross negligence.
  9. Powers of Attorney-in-fact
  10. My Attorney-in-fact will have the following power(s):

    Initials

    1. X_____ Specific Power

      _________________________________________________________________

      _________________________________________________________________.

    2. X_____ Charity Transactions

      To continue to make gifts to charitable organizations with whom I have an established pattern of giving (or if it is appropriate to make such gifts for estate planning and/or tax purposes), in such amounts as my Attorney-in-fact may decide in his or her absolute discretion, having regard to all of the circumstances, including the gifts I made while I was capable of managing my own estate, the size of my estate and my income requirements.

    3. X_____ General Authority

      To do any act or thing that I could do in my own proper person if personally present, including managing or selling tangible assets, disclaiming a probate or non-probate inheritance and providing support for a minor child or dependent adult. Other specifically enumerated powers are not intended as a limitation on this broad general power.

    4. X_____ Manage Real Estate

      To manage the property owned by me, or in which I have an interest, located at _____________________________________________________, and municipally known as _____________________________________________________. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to receive rents, make repairs, pay expenses including the insuring of the property and generally to deal with my property as effectually as I myself could do; to take all lawful proceedings by way of action or otherwise, for recovery of rent in arrears, or for eviction of tenants; and to commence, carry on and defend all actions, suits and other proceedings touching my property or any part of it.

    5. X_____ Manage Specific Financial Account

      To control my accounts with ____________________ Bank, located at _________________________________________, Account Number(s)__________________________________________. This power includes the authority to conduct any business with respect to any of my listed accounts, including, but not limited to, making deposits and withdrawals, negotiating or endorsing any cheques or other instruments with respect to any such accounts, obtaining bank statements, passbooks, drafts, money orders, warrants, and certificates or vouchers payable to me by any person, firm, corporation or political entity, and to perform any act necessary to deposit, negotiate, sell or transfer any note, security or draft.

  11. Attorney-in-fact Compensation
  12. My Attorney-in-fact will receive compensation as per the guidelines governing the compensation for agents or trustees or other such legislated rate in the State of California in addition to reimbursement of all out of pocket expenses associated with the carrying out my wishes. If no guidelines or usual practices exist for the compensation of an attorney-in-fact then my Attorney-in-fact will be entitled to reimbursement for all out of pocket expenses associated with the carrying out of my wishes and may pay himself or herself a reasonable amount based on the size of my estate.
  13. Co-owning of Assets and Mixing of Funds
  14. Personal Gain from Managing My Affairs
  15. My Attorney-in-fact is allowed to personally gain from any transaction he or she may complete on my behalf if the transaction is completed in good faith and with my Attorney-in-fact believing it is in my best interest.
  16. Delegation of Authority
  17. My Attorney-in-fact may delegate any authority granted under this document to a person of his or her choosing. Any delegation must be in writing and state the extent of the power delegated and the period of time in which the delegation will be effective.
  18. Effective Date
  19. This Power of Attorney will start immediately upon signing. Under no circumstances will the powers granted in this Power of Attorney continue after my mental incapacity or death.
  20. Attorney-in-fact Restrictions
  21. This Power of Attorney is not subject to any conditions or restrictions other than those noted above.
  22. Notice to Third Parties
  23. Any third party who receives a valid copy of this Power of Attorney can rely on and act under it. A third party who relies on the reasonable representations of my Attorney-in-fact as to a matter relating to a power granted by this Power of Attorney will not incur any liability to the Principal or to the Principal's heirs, assigns, or estate as a result of permitting the Attorney-in-fact to exercise the authority granted by this Power of Attorney up to the point of revocation of this Power of Attorney. Revocation of this Power of Attorney will not be effective as to a third party until the third party receives notice and has actual knowledge of the revocation.
  24. Severability
  25. If any part of any provision of this document is ruled invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, such part will be ineffective to the extent of such invalidity only, without in any way affecting the remaining parts of such provisions or the remaining provisions of this document.
  26. Acknowledgment
  27. I, ____________________, being the Principal named in this Power of Attorney hereby acknowledge:
    1. I have read and understand the nature and effect of this Power of Attorney;
    2. I am of legal age in the State of California to grant a Power of Attorney; and
    3. I am voluntarily giving this Power of Attorney.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I hereunto set my hand and seal at the City of ____________________ in the State of California, this 30th day of October, 2014.


SIGNED, SEALED, AND DELIVERED

     

in the presence of:

     
       

Witness: ______________________ (Sign)

     

Witness Name: ______________________

     

Address: ___________________________

   

__________________________________

___________________________________

   

____________________ (Principal)

       

Witness: ______________________ (Sign)

     

Witness Name: ______________________

     

Address: ___________________________

     

___________________________________

   

NOTARY ACKNOWLEDGMENT


STATE OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF ____________________

On this 30th day of October, 2014, before me, ____________________ personally appeared: ____________________, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she executed the same in his/her authorized capacity, and that by his/her signature on the instrument the person, or the entity upon behalf of which the person acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.


___________________________
Notary Public

___________________________
(print name)


NOTICE TO PERSON ACCEPTING THE APPOINTMENT AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT

By acting or agreeing to act as the agent (attorney-in-fact) under this power of attorney you assume the fiduciary and other legal responsibilities of an agent. These responsibilities include:

  1. The legal duty to act solely in the interest of the principal and to avoid conflicts of interest.
  2. The legal duty to keep the principal's property separate and distinct from any other property owned or controlled by you, unless the power of attorney specifically gives you the authority to commingle the principal's property with your own.

You may not transfer the principal's property to yourself without full and adequate consideration or accept a gift of the principal's property unless this power of attorney specifically authorizes you to transfer property to yourself or accept a gift of the principal's property. If you transfer the principal's property to yourself without specific authorization in the power of attorney, you may be prosecuted for fraud and/or embezzlement. If the principal is 65 years of age or older at the time that the property is transferred to you without authority, you may also be prosecuted for elder abuse under Penal Code Section 368. In addition to criminal prosecution, you may also be sued in civil court.

I have read the foregoing notice and I understand the legal and fiduciary duties that I assume by acting or agreeing to act as the agent (attorney-in-fact) under the terms of this power of attorney.




___________________________

   

(Signature of Agent)

   
     

___________________________

   

(Print Name of Agent)

   
     

________________________

   

(Date)

   

WITNESS CERTIFICATE


I, _________________________, currently residing at __________________________, in the City of __________________, in the State of ____________________, hereby acknowledge that:

  1. I witnessed the signing of the Power of Attorney of ____________________ dated this 30th day of October, 2014.
  2. I am an adult with capacity to witness the signing of the Power of Attorney and I am the subscribing witness thereto.
  3. In my opinion, ____________________ had the capacity to understand the nature and effect of the Power of Attorney at the time the Power of Attorney was signed and the Principal signed it freely and voluntarily without any compulsion or influence from any person.
  4. I am not the Attorney-in-fact named in the Power of Attorney nor am I the Attorney-in-fact's spouse or other family member.



_________________________

_________________________

(Signature of Witness)

(Date)


WITNESS CERTIFICATE


I, _________________________, currently residing at __________________________, in the City of __________________, in the State of ____________________, hereby acknowledge that:

  1. I witnessed the signing of the Power of Attorney of ____________________ dated this 30th day of October, 2014.
  2. I am an adult with capacity to witness the signing of the Power of Attorney and I am the subscribing witness thereto.
  3. In my opinion, ____________________ had the capacity to understand the nature and effect of the Power of Attorney at the time the Power of Attorney was signed and the Principal signed it freely and voluntarily without any compulsion or influence from any person.
  4. I am not the Attorney-in-fact named in the Power of Attorney nor am I the Attorney-in-fact's spouse or other family member.



_________________________

_________________________

(Signature of Witness)

(Date)


INSTRUCTIONS FOR EXECUTING YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY

Before signing your Power of Attorney, ensure you have read it and understand your document.

To be valid, you must sign the document with your usual cheque signing signature. You should also initial each page of the document. The signing and the initialing of the pages must occur in the presence of your notary or witness(es). For every power that you have given to your Attorney-in-fact you must write your initials in the space provided. If this is not done it may affect the validity of your document.

After you have signed and initialed your document in front of your notary or witness(es), your notary or witness(es) must sign on the applicable page of the Power of Attorney and should initial each page. This must occur in the presence of you.

Most jurisdictions require that a Power of Attorney be signed before a Notary Public if it is durable or grants power over land or property. Some jurisdictions also require that witnesses be present. Even if they are not required for your state, it is often recommended to have witnesses to make the document more acceptable to those that will have to deal with it. Those jurisdictions that do not require that the Power of Attorney be signed in front of a notary usually require that two witnesses are used. Even if a notary is not required it is still often recommended.

Remember that your witness(es) cannot be your spouse, partner, child, your Attorney-in-fact or alternate Attorney-in-fact or the spouse of your Attorney-in-fact or alternate attorney-in-fact. Some jurisdictions disallow witnesses that are mentioned in your Last Will, either as beneficiary or executor/executrix. You should generally avoid having witnesses that have any financial relationship with you. The witness(es) must be of legal age in your jurisdiction, they must have capacity and be mentally capable of managing their property and making their own decisions.

If your Power of Attorney will be used to transfer real property (land) your Attorney-in-fact will likely need to have the document recorded in order for the Power of Attorney to be recognized. This takes place at the land registry office in the jurisdiction where the real property (land) is located.

Power of Attorney Information

Alternate Names:

A Power of Attorney is also known as:

  • Letter of Attorney
  • POA/P.O.A.
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Legal Power-of-Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney form allows you to appoint another person to act on your behalf should you ever require someone to make short- or long-term decisions for you.

On a Power of Attorney form, the person granting authority to another is the "Principal". The person who is granted authority is called the "Attorney-in-fact" or "Agent".

Powers You Can Grant Your Attorney-in-Fact

A Power of Attorney document allows you to choose what your personal representative, or attorney-in-fact, will be responsible for by designating certain powers to them. The powers that you can grant your attorney-in-fact include:

Real Estate: To buy, sell, rent, or otherwise manage residential, commercial, and personal real estate.

Business: To invest, trade, and manage any and all business transactions and decisions, as well as handle any claim or litigation matters.

Finance: To control banking, tax, and government and retirement transactions, as well as living trust and estate decisions. Financial powers also allows your representative to control personal insurance policies and to continue donating to any charities in your stead.

Family: To purchase gifts, employ professionals, and to buy, sell or trade any of your personal property.

General Authority: This grants your personal attorney the authority to make any decisions that you would be able to if you were personally present.

When You Should Have a Power of Attorney Form

You should consider having a POA if:

  • You travel out of the country often
  • You are employed in a hazardous work environment
  • You have been diagnosed with a serious illness
  • You have business or property that you would want maintained if you were unavailable
  • You have children that would need to be provided for if you were to become incapacitated
  • You want a specific person to be responsible for your affairs
  • You have rules about how you run your business, property, or life, and you want to ensure they are upheld
  • You are approaching old age and would like to designate a representative for yourself

Types of Power of Attorney Forms

General: A general Power of Attorney form allows your representative to manage all of your property-based and financial affairs. This type of POA grants them general authority.

Specific: A specific Power of Attorney form limits your representative's responsibilities to certain types of decisions. You can choose to allow someone to only make decisions in relation to business, for example.

Ordinary: An ordinary Power of Attorney is only valid while you, the principal, are capable of making decisions. This type of POA becomes invalid in the event that you become incapacitated.

Durable: An enduring Power of Attorney is when the contract continues even if you, the principal, become incapacitated.

Choosing an Attorney-in-Fact

To choose an attorney-in-fact, you must consider your options carefully. Aside from your personal preferences, there are also legal requirements for who you select.

Your attorney-in-fact may not:

  • Be under the age of majority in your state
  • Currently be in a state of bankruptcy
  • Be the owner or employee of a care home where the principal resides or receives treatment

You can name more than one attorney-in-fact if you believe that different people will better handle certain decisions or transactions.

You may also name a fiduciary, such as an accountant, lawyer, or other professional as your attorney-in-fact if you wish.

Forms Related to a Power of Attorney:

  • Living Will/Health Care Directive: A Living Will, or Health Care Directive, specifies your personal medical preferences and dictates what choices you want to be made in the event that you fall ill or become hospitalized.
  • Last Will and Testament: A Last Will and Testament is what dictates how your assets, debts, properties, and possessions will be distributed when you pass away.
  • Codicil: A Codicil is a form that allows you to make simple amendments to your existing Last Will and Testament.
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