Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney for Health Care lets you choose in advance who will make your health care decisions if you become unable to make your own decisions. Under California law, as of July 1, 2000, the Power of Attorney for Health Care is now called an “Advance Health Care Directive” and contains your desires concerning life-support treatment, as well as your health care choices. In other states, this document may be called a living will.

The Advance Health Care Directive also allows you to express your desires concerning organ donation, funeral arrangements and the disposition of your body when you die. In your Advance Health Care Directive, you may name who you would like to be your conservator should you need one. The Advance Health Care Directive can also contain “personal care” choices, such as a desire to remain living at home and a desire to spend money on home health care.

A Durable Power of Attorney for Finances lets you choose someone you know and trust to make your financial decisions if you are ever unable to do so.

A power of attorney can either take effect immediately when you sign it or when you become incapacitated depending on the wording of the document. The later is called a “springing” power of attorney.