California Durable Power of Attorney (Financial)

Last Updated: 7/2/2015

Document Description

If you were incapacitated tomorrow, would your loved ones be able to manage all of your financial affairs? Could they access your bank accounts, write checks, make monthly payments on your mortgage for you?

A financial power of attorney authorizes one or more "agents" to handle your finances on your behalf: they can pay bills, write checks, negotiate with creditors, withdraw funds, buy and sell securities, and/or anything else you specifically authorize them (or prohibit them) to do. What powers you grant them is completely up to you.

You can also specify a certain range of time for them to have these financial power of attorney powers, or you can simply let it take effect only when and if you are incapacitated.

While this document is particularly necessary if your faculties are actively declining, anyone can become incapacitated at any time. Gruesome as it may sound, any of us could be in an accident at any time - in the United States alone, there are approximately 11 million car accidents every year, and a disproportionate amount of those are in California.

Choose an agent you trust with your finances, but who will not be so distraught if you are incapacitated that they cannot responsibly manage your money and investments. Just as everyone should have a last will, so should everyone have a financial power of attorney, in case the worst happens and they are unable to manage their own finances.

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