California law requires that a healthcare power of attorney be separate from a financial power of attorney. The CA Probate Code supplies a general format for each type of power of attorney. The healthcare power of attorney (more specifically called an "Advance Health Care Directive" if the CA statutory format is used) allows for two qualified witnesses to verify your signature in lieu of a notarization OR a notarization of the AHCD signature so witnesses are not needed. Please note that the witnesses cannot be just any competent persons, but need to be persons allowed under CA law to act as witnesses for the AHCD.
The CA financial power of attorney (called a "Uniform Statutory Form Power of Attorney") needs to be notarized.
If you are a California resident, both statutory formats provide more legal benefits and comprehensive powers than generic power of attorney forms.
(FYI, since you are a northern Californian, the AHCD was a result of a ten-year process headed by George Alexander, then Dean of the University of Santa Clara School of Law.)
This comment is based on a very limited knowledge of the specific facts and circumstances of the situation you described. The comment is based on specific California law. It may not be relied upon as legal advice. It may not be construed to constitute any type of client-attorney relationship.
A durable power of attorney for financial matters in California has to be notarized. As Gary stated in California legal document for health care is titled an Advanced Health Care Directive. So we are both assuming that you signed the financial power.
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I agree with the other attorney on this matter. Also, CA law requires that when the durable power of attorney is notarized a fingerprint must be taken by the notary.
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