Orange County Power of Attorney Attorneys
A power of attorney it’s generally used for two reasons. The first is to have someone help you with your financial problems while you’re physically incapacitated or if you become mentally incapacitated. The second reason is for health reasons. A medical power of attorney authorizes someone to obtain medical information for you on your behalf and authorizes that person to make medical decisions for you when you are ill. There are specific rules and formalities in order to make the financial and/or medical power of attorney effective.
The alternative to using a power of attorney is to have a relative or someone on your behalf seek approval from the court to be appointed your guardian. The appointment process is expensive, timely, and might be contested.
How does the financial power of attorney work?
The financial power of attorney authorizes somebody you trust to pay your bills, make deposits, and perform other financial transactions on your behalf.
In Orange County, you create a financial power of attorney through a writing. You choose someone to act as your agent, attorney-in-fact, to handle your financial affairs. The person you designate is normally a family member or a friend.
California law sets forth the terms and conditions for creating a power of attorney. The person who handles your financial affairs is given authority over your real and personal property. The person may also be given authority over your personal care such as determining where you live, what food you eat, what your social activities are, and how you travel from one location to another.
A power of attorney is effective the moment you complete and sign the document. A financial power of attorney may be given when you are mentally competent but physically unable to handle your affairs due to an accident or for other reasons. A general power of attorney ends if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. A durable power of attorney is more proactive. It’s effective even if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. In California, a durable power attorney should state:
- “This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent incapacity of the principal.”
- “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the incapacity of the principal.”
- Similar phrasings can be used.
Seniors who are in relatively good health often consider drafting a power of attorney when they do their estate planning because – as seniors age, they are likely to fall, become ill, suffer dementia, or suffer other ailments.
A financial power of attorney terminates on one of the following conditions:
- You revoke it provided you are mentally competent when you make the revocation
- You pass away
- You divorce if you gave the power of attorney to your spouse
- If the attorney-in-fact, agent, is unable to act because they declined to act, they become ill, or they predecease you.
A few other financial power of attorney considerations in Orange County
A medical power of attorney is similar to a financial power of attorney. You appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. Like a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney is effective immediately and becomes ineffective when you become physically or mentally incapacitated. A durable medical power of attorney becomes effective even if you become physically or mentally incapacitated.
In most cases, a spouse can act on your behalf with regard to making medical decisions. Otherwise, you will need a medical power of attorney if you develop health problems. Some of the reasons for using a medical power of attorney are:
- Health care facilities, hospitals, and health care providers normally will not provide medical information to anyone other than you or your spouse without a medical power of attorney. The health care provider will also normally need a HIPAA release form from either you or the person who holds your medical power of attorney.
- Generally, if you are physically and mentally able, you will make your own medical decisions about treatment and care. However there are times, whether it’s due to an accident or ill health, that someone on your behalf will need to make decisions about whether you have surgery and what type of treatment or care you receive. The health providers can authorize surgeries and treatments only if they have approval from the person who holds the medical power of attorney.
There may still be some health care decisions that the person with the medical power of attorney cannot make unless a California court authorizes the decision.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the person you choose to hold your medical power of attorney should be someone:
- Who is willing to discuss your medical care and understands your medical needs and end of life decision issues
- Other than your physician or a member of your medical care team
- Who will be a strong advocate for your medical treatment
End-of-life forms and directives in Orange County
There are several different ways in Orange County that end-of-life decisions or life-threatening decisions can be made for you. These include the following:
- California uses a Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Form or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form for making end-of-life decisions. Generally, the POLS form is used with or instead of the DNR form. The POLST form can include, unlike the DNR form, authorization for measures that will save your life such as antibiotics, intubation, dialysis, or feeding tubes.
- In addition to the POLST form and the DNR form, an experienced Orange County power of attorney lawyer will also explain how healthcare directives and living wills can be used to make end-of-life decisions on your behalf.
The elder care attorneys at the Orange County law firm, JS Abrams law, explain and draft financial power of attorneys forms, medical power of attorney forms, and other related documents on behalf of the residents of the county. Call us at 818-330-4515 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment to discuss your eldercare concerns.
If you’re seeing an Orange County Power of Attorney law firm to help you guide the way, schedule your free consultation today by calling (818) 330-4515.
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