Power of attorney status allows a person to step in and handle different legal and business transactions for you. This is done when you do not have a head for such things, are too busy, and need someone to represent you in important matters.
These forms can be used for various reasons, including medical decisions and when you become incapacitated due to illnesses such as alzheimer’s. Each state may have its own regulations governing this step so check with a lawyer to know your rights before you give this amount of decision-making power to someone.
To learn all about this form just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to act wisely.
What is the Power of Attorney (POA)?
This legal procedure grants another person legal decision-making over many of your affairs or a limited number of them. Usually, you appoint someone you can trust, and the office is temporary, or you can make it permanent in case you get too sick to make your own decisions.
If you become too sick to assign this legal procedure to someone, then a relative will have to step in and get guardianship of you before you get help in decision-making processes.
How to Get a Power of Attorney (POA)?
The good news here is that you do not have to hire a lawyer and pay his or her fees to draft a POA. You can download a form once you decide what your needs are, and having a person act on your behalf is the right move to make. Here are those steps to getting one:
#1. Download the document- this means deciding which one you will need, whether it is financial, legal, or medical, etc.
#2. Decide on who will be your agent- Otherwise known as the attorney-in-fact; this person should be trustworthy, available, faithfully discharge your affairs, and accountable.
#3. Fill in the document- provide all the details required, and your agent can be present when you do this.
#4. Sign the document- you will need a notary and/or witnesses to make the document legal and valid
#5. keep the document(s) safe- you need to keep the document protected from any kind of harm so make sure you store them in proper places that are easily accessible.
What is a Power of Attorney (POA) Form?
This is a legal document telling the authorities, financial, medical, and other institutions that your agent will handle your affairs. It is a form that designates power to another person to act on your behalf and that form is valid temporarily or for life.
In simpler terms, this form is a record of this transfer of power you have decided to make sure your affairs are well looked after.
Power of Attorney Forms
Where to Get a Power of Attorney (POA)?
This is probably the easiest part of the process as there are many sources you can turn to. The first and best source would be a lawyer. They will have all the documents with the right legal words on them to make sure nothing is left out, and there is no confusion as to the term, duties, and amount of power the agent has.
The next best source would be the internet. There are many websites that have sample forms you can download, print off and fill out. They should be easy to understand and fit your need.
Many office supply stores have file cabinets with blank legal documents in them that you can go through and find the one you want. The hardest part of getting a POA form will be deciding which one you will need
How to Write a Power of Attorney (POA)?
Once you have the form that you need, it is time to fill it out. There are several steps to writing one, and it is a good thing they are pre-printed, so you only have to fill in the vital information and check the right boxes.
Step #1: Fill in the date, your name (principal), and your agent’s name, as well as both of your addresses.
Step #2: Next, add the effective date, and this can be immediately or when a doctor declares you incapacitated or at some point in between the two.
Step #3: Check the boxes where the powers are listed that will be transferred then you must initial those checks.
Step #4: After that is done, you and your agent, along with two non-family members, must sign the document. Those non-family members cannot be related by marriage either. Some states require a notary to document the signatures
Step #5: In most states, the agent must sign an acceptance form testifying that they understand what is assigned to them and declare that they will make decisions in the best interest of the principal.
How to Sign a Power of Attorney (POA)
You will sign the document in the same way you sign most legal paperwork. You will need to voluntarily sign your own name, have 2 non-family members present to witness yours and your agent’s signature as well as a notary public to set his or her seal on the document.
Sometimes you only need the notary and sometimes you only need two witnesses. Check with your state to see what it requires for legal acceptance by government agencies.
Can You do a power of attorney Yourself without a lawyer?
As long as you follow all the procedures discussed in this article, then the answer is yes, you can. Doing it yourself is one way to save on lawyer’s fees and still get the legal acceptance you need.
Then, as long as the form meets the state’s requirements, where you live, you should have no problem having the document accepted as a legal and valid POA. Once the document is signed, then it is a legally binding document.
Does Power of Attorney Need to be Notarized?
This will depend on the state you live in. Each state has its own requirements and you need to meet those requirements if you want your document to be valid. This is why many people use an attorney.
The lawyer knows those requirements and knows how to fill out the form correctly so that it will be accepted by the state. Lawyers also have notaries on staff to make signing legal and valid.
How to Revoke Power of Attorney (POA)?
There are 3 main steps to take when you want to revoke the POA you created>:
- fill out a revocation of power of attorney
- destroy all existing POAs and their copies
- follow any revocation instructions that are listed on your POA
Does Power of Attorney Expire?
It can and it does if you want it to. You can set the term limit for the power of attorney if you feel there is a need to do so. Or you can set it so it lasts your lifetime. The length of the term will be up to you and your situation.
A power of attorney will expire automatically upon death.
Can a Power of Attorney (POA) Change a Will?
Once you die, the POA expires, and your last will and testament come into effect. While you are alive, the agent having a power of attorney can make legal decisions in your best interest but does not have the power to change your will.
Creating a POA is very serious business as you are granting other people a lot of power over your life once you sign it. You should not enter into this if you do not understand the ramifications that come with a POA.
Make sure the person you place in charge as your agent can be trusted and know that he or she will act in your best interests.