A Power of Attorney is a form of authorization that allows a person to act in behalf of the absent individual during a legal preceding and business affairs. The person who authorizes is called the principal, while the authorized individual is termed as the attorney-in-fact or the agent of the power.
The document used to authorizing a person is the Power of Attorney Form. This form contains the details of the appointed person and his designated responsibilities when it comes to decision-making. The grantor may make decisions regrading real estate cases, business matters, financing, and family-related subjects. A general authorization may also be granted by the agent if he will be leaving for a week-long period.
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When to Use a Power of Attorney
Anyone may authorize a person to stand on his behalf if he is away from the court. However, listed below are some of the instances in which an individual may use a Durable Power of Attorney Form to assign someone to take his place for a specified time range:
- When the principal is a traveler and often travels outside the country.
- Whenever the principal is employed under a company where hazardous elements are present.
- If the principal is diagnosed with a contagious illness or disease that may affect his constituents, he may use a Special Power of Attorney.
- Whenever there are important business areas to be maintained in the absence of the principal.
- If the principal has children and a family to provide their needs but is incapable of doing so.
- When there is a trust-worthy individual that the principal would assign to be responsible for his affairs. In this case, a Limited Power of Attorney is recommended for the principal to use.
- When the principal is in a near-death situation and he wants to grant someone to take over his duties.
If the principal has been admitted due to mental incapacity and he needs someone to decide for his unfinished agendas.
Power of Attorney Do’s and Don’ts
- Do hire an attorney to help you draft your document.
- Do observe patience and clarity when meeting with the attorney.
- Do choose an appropriate individual to be your agent. Make sure that he is an efficient, detailed and responsible person.
- Do select a person who may supervise the agent of the power.
- Do monitor the agent’s activities with the help of an trusted outside party.
- Do have a backup of your form.
- Do decide if you are of capable of providing adequate compensation for the people that you hired.
- Do have only one power of attorney and discuss your decisions with your family and close relatives.
- Do set some ground rules for your agent to follow. This may include the amount of flexibility he is allowed in regards to your finances.
- Don’t put your family or friends as an option to be your agent. This may cause a conflict of interest when dealing with legal matters.
- Don’t form assumptions and assertions. As much as you can, ask your attorney to make sure that your needs are being met.
- Don’t give any form of power to the agent if you find it risky. Only allow a Power of Attorney when you are sure that your chosen agent can comply with what you ask.
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Sample Financial Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney Form Categories
- Financial Power of Attorney – this form is used whenever a person will need someone to take care of his bills and financial matters. Banks and financing agencies often require this form when an agent will conduct transactions that may involve the use of cash and liquidation. The agent may do real and personal property transactions, annuity and insurance transactions, and accessing safe deposit boxes.
- Health Care Power of Attorney – this form is for naming a person who the principal will trust in making medical and health-related decisions. Along with the healthcare power of attorney, the principal may also use a living will wherein he will state a list of trusted people that he shall designate when he will be permanently ill or incapacitated.
- General Power of Attorney – This form allows the agent to fully manipulate and manage the properties and finances of the principal. If the principal becomes impaired, the authorization in this form will no longer be in effect unless the principal specifies continuation of the agent’s power in the event of incapacitation.
- Enduring/Durable Power of Attorney – In the event that the principal will be mentally incapacitated, the agent will continue with his duties and responsibilities without the need of the court’s consent and agreement.
- Revocation of Power of Attorney – this is the form used by a principal if he decides to appont another agent and revoke the previous authorization.
- Special or Limited Power of Attorney – this is used when a principal will assign an agent for a specified purpose and period of time. This may be granted if the principal is facing a short-term problem that may soon be solved after a short period of time. Under this category is the Military Power of Attorney where a service member will assign a person to access files for legal purposes.
How to Choose an Agent or an Attorney-in-Fact
- Consider the age. Your attorney-in-fact or your agent should be of legal age in your state. Older agents have more experience than younger individuals.
- Know his availability. This includes his address, whether you can reach out to him quickly, or if his location is easily accessible.
- Make sure he has exceptional skills and expertise. He should be organized, fit, has good analytical and financial skills and understands the State’s provisions clearly.
- Assure that he is worth your trust. You should be able to fully trust a person before appointing him as your agent.
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Simple Medical Power of Attorney Form
Steps in Writing a Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney allows the agent to continue with his designated responsibilities even in the instance of the principal’s impairment. Here are the steps in making this type of document:
Step 1: Prepare the format that you want to base your document from. You may use our Blank Power of Attorney Forms in drafting your desired format.
Step 2: Start with the title of the document, the current date, your full legal name and a statement that will indicate that the document is a durable power of attorney and that you fully understood the specific powers the document will grant to the agent. These information should be stated on top of the page.
Step 3: State the full legal name of the person that you will allow authorization of your transactions and decisions. You should also indicate your relationship with that individual and his contact information.
Step 4: State the boundaries and limitations of the power granted to the agent. You may include the areas that he shall take responsibility of, such as managing your financial transactions, and holding meetings on your behalf for your business matters.
Step 5: Specify that the power of attorney will be revoked by the time that you are capable enough to handle your own affairs. However, the assigned physician will still aid the attorney in deciding for your health capacity whether you can handle the mental stress of a case or not.
Step 6: Provide some options for the agent. This will include the list of probable consultants that he may visit for financial consultations in the event of facing crisis. You may include someone very close to you, such as your spouse or your parents, as the authorized consultants.
Step 7: Sign the document and indicate a date in which you and the agent have agreed on the terms.
Deciding whether to create a Power of Attorney or not is a tough decision to make. The principal needs to make a significant effort in trusting a person who is not his relative and not one of his friends. An attorney or any legal personnel will be a great help in constructing the form. They may also be great consultants, especially for preparing short-term assignments which requires the use of a Special Power of Attorney Form. To ease up everyone’s work, choose from our forms and download your chosen document, either in .DOC or in .PDF formats.
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