There may come a time when you are too sick or injured to take care of your own affairs. Your bills still need to be paid and your legal rights still need to be protected even if you can’t do it independently. For this reason, the law allows you to appoint a power of attorney to act for you when you can’t act for yourself.
Who Can Be a Power of Attorney in California?
The legal requirements for serving as a power of attorney are not hard to meet. In California, anyone who has the legal authority to sign a contract may serve as a power of attorney. In other words, as long as the person is at least 18 years of age and of sound mind, the person may legally be your power of attorney.
Who Should Be Your Power of Attorney?
While virtually anyone can serve as a power of attorney, you will want to put some thought into who you choose. We encourage you to pick someone who is:
- Trustworthy. Your power of attorney may be handling your financial and legal affairs. While there are legal checks in place to protect you, you can avoid a lot of stress and save a lot of money by choosing someone you trust.
- Nearby. It can be challenging to do everything a power of attorney needs to do from far away. Choose someone who lives nearby.
- Assertive. You want someone who is assertive enough to be heard and who will fight to have your wishes honored.
- Resourceful. If challenges arise, you want someone who can solve problems or seek out the appropriate help.
- Willing. You want to choose someone who has the time and interest to do this for you. Make sure that you talk to the person you want to appoint and that he or she is willing to serve in this role.
Additionally, you should consider naming an alternate power of attorney who meets all of the criteria above in case your first choice predeceases you or is otherwise unable to do the job.
Talk to an Experienced Lawyer About Your Power of Attorney
If you don’t have a power of attorney in place when you become incapacitated, your family will need to go to court to have a power of attorney appointed. This may be expensive and stressful during an already difficult time. To avoid this, we recommend executing the necessary documents sooner rather than later.
Contact San Diego Legacy Law today to begin getting the legal information you need to make the important decision of who should be your power of attorney.