California has adopted the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act (“Act”). The Act is stated in California Codes, Probate Code, Division 4.5, Part 2, Chapter 2. A power of attorney is a legal instrument that authorizes another person to act on behalf of the person authorizing. The person who executes the power of attorney is called the principal, and the person who is authorized to act on behalf of the principal is called an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact. According to Section 4124, a durable power of attorney is an instrument that specifically state that the power of attorney continues in effect even if the principal is subsequently disabled or incapacitated.
According to Section 4125, all acts by the agent on behalf of the principal when the principal is incapacitated will have the same effect as if the principal was not incapacitated and will binds the principal and successors. The principal, through the agent can nominate a court conservator or guardian for the person or estate of the principal. The principal can revoke or terminate the durable power of attorney as far as the principal is competent. The durable power of attorney last during the principal’s lifetime, unless a shorter period is specified in the power of attorney. A general power of attorney is revoked:
- on reaching the specific time stipulated;
- according to the terms of power of attorney;
- fulfilling the purpose of power of attorney;
- on revocation of agent’s authority;
- removal, incapacity, death or resignation of agent;
- on principal’s death; or
- on annulment of marriage (when the principal and agent are married couple).