California General (Financial) Power of Attorney Form

The California General (Financial) Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a party (referred to as the “Attorney-in-Fact” or “agent”) with the permission to make one (1) or more financial decisions for an individual (known as the “principal”). The principal has the full say over what powers the agent has, and has the right to terminate the agreement at any time, for any reason using a California-specific revocation of POA. The Attorney-in-Fact is only allowed to exercise the decision making powers for the time in which the individual is in a legally capable state (incapacitated). Should they become incapacitated, the contract will be wholly terminated, with or without the use of the revocation form. In other words, the main difference between the general POA and the durable POA is that the general version does not remain in effect if the principal were to no longer be able to make decisions on their own (incapacitated).

California Durable Power of Attorney: Similar to the general POA, but does not terminate upon the principal’s incapacitation.

Laws + Signing Requirements

Laws: Division 4.5 “Powers of Attorney” (§§ 4000 to 4545)

Signing Requirements (Division 4.5, Ch.2, § 4121): The principal has a choice of either getting two (2) witnesses to view their signature on the document or a Notary Public to acknowledge the POA.

Notes on the Form: The POA refers to the Attorney-in-Fact as just the “Attorney.” Keep in mind that the agent does not need to be an actual attorney – it can be anyone whom the principal trusts with the powers in the form.

As also stated in the document, the POA cannot be used for anything related to health care decisions. If the principal is looking to direct a principal with powers relating to their health, the CA health care POA should be used.