For one to make sound decisions, he must be of sound mind and in good health. This may always be the case as the person concerned may be sick or incapacitated. If any of these eventualities arise, the person has to delegate the powers to a third party to act on his behalf.
This is called the “power of attorney.” It is delegated through an official communique that is drafted by the affected person and directed to the person to exercise the powers. We belabor this letter in its finest details in the discussions below.
What Is a Power of Attorney Letter?
It is an official letter that confers the power to make far-reaching decisions and act on the behalf of another person in line with the terms that are stipulated in the letter. The person who receives the power is called the ‘agent.’ Some of the common activities that may be handled by the agent are monetary transactions, property dealings, and signing checks.
How to Write
Follow these steps to draft the letter:
Step I: Generate a draft
Start by generating a draft of the letter you want to send out to the person to whom you delegate the powers. The draft ought to contain a list of the special powers you intend to bequeath to a third party. This list ought to be explicit and detailed to avoid any doubts.
Step II: Decide on the springing powers
Springing powers are so-called because they are conditional. This means they may only be exercised if and when certain pre-conditions are met. These pre-conditions have to be explicitly spelled out in the letter to prevent any form of ambiguities or confusion from arising.
Step III: Select your preferred agent or successor agent
You now have to select your preferred agent or successor agent. Needless to say, the person whom you select has to be one whom you may really trust. Choose also a successor agent who stands in place of the main agent just in case there could be the need for any reinforcements.
Step IV: Stipulate the expiration date
The powers conferred to the agent and the successor agent ought not to last indefinitely. That means you will have to stipulate the expiry date of the said powers. If you are unsure when the incapacitation will be removed, you may make a durable power of attorney that lasts really long.
Step V: Finalize your letter
After you have showcased all the relevant pieces of information, you have to finalize your letter. This includes such relevant details as the date when the letter was drafted, the printed name of the drafter, and the relevant signatures. All these give the letter the official character it badly requires.
Sample — Power of Attorney Letter
We leave you now with a sample power of attorney letter:
The Court of Law,
Business Legal Documentation,
Reno, Nevada, USA.
Subject: Letter of Power of Attorney
I hope this missive finds you in good health.
I shall go to the theater for operations on July 1st, 2021. After my discharge, I shall still be bed-ridden for 90 days to fully recuperate from the disease.
During that time, I shall not be able to transact my normal businesses and pay bills due to my incapacitation.
I, therefore, call upon you to act on my behalf for the 90-day period running from July 1st through to October 1st, 2021.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation on the matter.
Power of Attorney Letter (Templates & Examples)
How to Get Power of Attorney
To get the power of attorney, you have to:
- Determine whether the delegation of the powers is necessary or not
- Identify the person who may be best delegated the powers
- This requires effective communication between the parties involved
- Define the boundaries of the power of attorney
- Specify the start and the end dates of the powers
- Fill the necessary forms and have the parties to the deal sign it
Types of Power of Attorney
Below are the main types of power of attorney:
Lasts longer and mainly comes in force when you are completely incapacitated such as when in a coma. This type is only applicable if you are completely incapable of making decisions on your own.
Empowers one to make business and financial decisions on your behalf. The type mainly comes in force if you are in a business deal and lack the necessary expertise to act on your own.
Grants powers to someone to make specific decisions on your behalf. It specifies the precise decision to be made when the decision has to be made and the kinds of prevailing environments that warrant it.
As its designation stipulates, this power is mainly applicable in medical or healthcare settings. It empowers someone to make a medical decision on behalf of another person when the affected person cannot do so on his own.
It commences and ends at a date and time that is stipulated by the guarantor. It is mainly limited to a specific task and lasts only as long as the task is accomplished.
Does a Power of Attorney Need to be notarized?
YES, it has to be notarized. The notary public is the one to do this. It is only after it has been notarized that it is deemed legally binding. The rules and regulations differ per state. That means you have to check out your state laws to find out about the rules.
How Do I Revoke Power of Attorney?
Follow these steps to revoke the power of attorney:
- Prepare a revocation of ‘power of attorney’
- Destroy the power of attorney document you wish to revoke and its copies
- Follow the laid down termination procedures stipulated in the POA document
- Notify the relevant stakeholders such as businesses, insurance companies, hospitals, and banks that may be affected by the revocation
Does Power of Attorney Expire?
YES, it expires in the following two circumstances:
- At the expiration date that is stipulated in the letter
- When the person who delegates the power passes on
The ‘power of attorney’ is a very serious document that should never be handled recklessly. You need to treat it with the seriousness it requires to prevent the issues and problems that potentially arise with use. Reading in between the prescriptions we have stipulated above is a sure way of achieving this end.