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A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument used to delegate legal authority to another. By executing a Power of Attorney, you give legal authority to a representative you designate (called an Attorney-In-Fact) to make property, financial, and other legal decisions on your behalf. A Power of Attorney will terminate upon your incapacity, unless it contains a durable clause.

The LACERA Special Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document, executed by a member (or member’s beneficiary or a non-member spouse), which designates another person to act on the member’s behalf with regard to retirement matters only, including retiree healthcare plan options. This can include such matters as making address changes, adjusting tax withholdings, filing applications, making benefit elections, designating beneficiaries, and endorsing checks. A member has the right to revoke or terminate this Power of Attorney at any time, as long as the member is competent. If the member does not revoke the document, it terminates when the member dies.

It is important to have a Special Durable Power of Attorney on file with LACERA because in cases where a member without a Durable Power of Attorney becomes incapacitated or unable to handle his or her own affairs, LACERA must withhold the member’s benefits until a court-appointed conservator is named. It’s also important to make sure your Special Durable Power of Attorney is current, since the laws regarding Powers of Attorney change from time to time.

Distinguishing Features

The LACERA Special Durable Power of Attorney is limited to matters relating to LACERA and has some distinguishing features:

  • It is specifically designed to help manage LACERA retirement issues and to show your intent to allow your Attorney-In-Fact to conduct your retirement business with LACERA on your behalf.
  • It allows you to designate an Attorney-In-Fact to handle specific retirement affairs such as selecting benefit options, designating or changing your beneficiaries, submitting change of address forms, and designating bank accounts to receive electronic transfers of retirement funds.
  • It contains a durable clause, which allows the Attorney-In-Fact to manage retirement matters on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. Having a Special Durable Power of Attorney on file with LACERA ensures that LACERA will be ready to manage your retirement benefits without interruption and in accordance with your wishes, should you become unable to handle your own affairs.

For More Information

The complete Special Durable Power of Attorney Guide with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), instructions, and form are available on our Brochures & Forms page. Click on Change Your Personal Information and scroll down to select the Special Durable Power of Attorney package in the dropdown menu. You can download it to print yourself or order by mail.

If you have questions about the LACERA Special Durable Power of Attorney, a Retirement Benefits Specialist will gladly assist you. Make an appointment to visit our Member Service Center; contact our Call Center at 800-786-6464; or email us at Keep in mind, however, that we cannot provide legal advice. If you have legal questions such as who to appoint as your Attorney-In-Fact or which powers to grant to your Attorney-In-Fact, or if your questions are about preparing a non-LACERA Power of Attorney, you will need to consult an attorney.