Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a written document which officially gives a person or persons the right to act on behalf of another. It does not involve the Courts, and there is no judicial oversight.

The person who give the power is called the Principal. The person who holds the power is called the Agent. Sometimes, the person who holds the power is called a Power of Attorney, but this is not strictly correct.

An individual must have capacity to sign a power of attorney. It is not possible to take care of this after someone has lost capacity. A power of attorney, by default, is automatically revoked by the death of the principal or the incapacity of the principal.

On the other hand, if a person wants his/her power of attorney to stay in effect even if he/she loses capacity, the power of attorney must be a Durable Power of Attorney. Special language must be included in the text if the principal wants the power to remain in effect, even if the principal becomes impaired. Unless that language is included, the power will not be a Durable Power of Attorney.

A Springing Power of Attorney is a power of attorney which only becomes effective when the principal loses capacity. All other powers of attorney are effective immediately upon signing, unless they say something different in the written terms.

If you are interested in discussing an issue related to a guardianship with Mrs. Martin, please call 650-340-1166 to schedule an appointment.

Martin Family Law Firm

If you would like to learn more, please call our office at 650-340-1166.

"Discourage litigation. Point out to your neighbor how the nominal winner is often the real loser - in fees, expense, and waste of time."
- Abraham Lincoln, 1850