Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Is a limited or general “power of attorney” valid in CA if signed by two disinterested witnesses instead of by a notary public?

A CA state prisoner wants to give power of attorney to his girlfriend for limited purposes. The prison does not provide notary service, and it’s an extreme hassle to have a notary visit the prisoner. May the prisoner use two fellow inmates as his witnesses? Which sections of the Probate, Civil, Evidence or other CA codes apply in this instance?

Asked on 8/24/09, 4:46 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Larry L. Doan Law Office of Larry L. Doan

Yes, two adult witnesses can sign the power of attorney in lieu of a notary public. Probate Code sections 4121, 4122.

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Answered on 8/25/09, 2:09 am

Another alternative is to have a mobile notary visit the prisoner. It's not that big of a hassle and I know multiple notaries that can provide this service. Please let me know if you'd like more information.

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Answered on 8/25/09, 12:33 pm

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