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California Durable Power of Attorney Laws

The durable power of attorney is a legal arrangement which gives authority to a named individual for decisions related to artificial life support. For instance, it allows the named person to decide whether or not the patient should remain connected to a respirator (often indicated in a living will, which must be honored). California durable power of attorney laws grant the named individual (or "attorney-in-fact") to make decisions related to care, treatment, and whether to continue life support.

Below are details about the specific powers, legal requirements, revocation, and state-to-state validity of California durable power of attorney laws. See Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Wills to learn more.

Code Section Probate §4650, §4700 et seq.: Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care
Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts Decisions on any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual's physical or mental condition; including decision to begin, continue, increase, limit, discontinue or not begin any health care. Same right as principal to receive information and consent regarding health care decisions and records except to consent to commitment, convulsive treatment, or psychosurgery, sterilization or abortion.
Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney Durable power of attorney must specifically authorize the attorney-in-fact to make health care decisions; dated; witnessed by 2 attesting to the principal's signature and signing statutory declaration (§4701) or by a notary public; prevails over declaration (§7185 et seq.); substantially same form as §4703 (statutory form)
Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney No authority while principal can give informed consent to a health care decision. Anytime while principal has capacity to give a durable power of attorney, he may (1) revoke the appointment of the attorney-in-fact orally or in writing; (2) revoke the agent's authority by notifying the physician orally or in writing; (3) a subsequent durable power of attorney revokes prior one; (4) divorce revokes any designation of former spouse
Validity from State-to-State Enforceable if executed in another state or jurisdiction in compliance with the laws of that state or jurisdiction or in substantial compliance with the laws of California
If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney -
Immunity for Attending Physician Subject to limitations, a physician acting in good faith on decision of attorney-in-fact is not subject to criminal, civil, or professional liability except to the same extent that would be the case if the principal, having had capacity to give informed consent, had made the health care decision on his/her own behalf under like circumstances

Note: State laws are constantly changing — contact a California estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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