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Does a durable power of attorney need to be filed with the court, or is it valid as soon as it is notorized?

Poway, CA |
Filed under: Estate planning Probate

We live in California. My mother has a durable power of attorney for my father. It has been notorized. We went to the post office to get his mail and were told it is not valid until it is singed by a judge and has a court stamp. Does it need to be recorded with the court to be valid?

Attorney Answers 3


I suggest you direct the manager of that post office to look at Postal Operations Manual section 612 "Delivery of Addressee's Mail to Another" and specifically at 612.11, which says that mail can be delivered to a competent member of an addressee's family - the only requirement is that "designation of another person to receive mail should be in writing, but no special form is required."

So assuming that the power of attorney form states clearly that your mother has the right to receive your father's mail, the postmaster is out of line.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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Follow Ms. Brewers advice. A Durable Power of Attorney does not have to be filed with the court. One of the reasons for having one is to avoid having to involve the court.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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I agree with the other respondents. A power of attorney is almost never "filed" with any court, and unless it has to do with real property it is not recorded with the County Recorder. In California, a petition can be filed under Probate Code Section 4941 to compel a third party to accept an agent's authority. While the US Government is probably immune from damages, others can be liable for attorneys' fees if they unreasonably refuse to accept the power of attorney, although such actions are rare.

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