Generate A Power of Attorney with LegalZone
What Is a Power of Attorney?
Also called Durable Power of Attorney, Ordinary Power of Attorney, Financial Power of Attorney, or General Power of Attorney, a Power of Attorney (POA) form is a document that permits another person to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so.
POA allows a person of your choosing to take care of your property, financials, medical affairs, and other assets on your behalf. There are different levels of POA that give your designated person various levels of control.
This legal document designates an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to act on behalf of the “principal.”
What Can a Power of Attorney Do and Not Do?
What your attorney-in-fact can or can’t do depends on the type of agreement you draft. You choose exactly what your agent has responsibility for. Common categories of powers you can grant your attorney-in-fact include:
- Real Estate: the agent can buy, sell, rent, or manage the principal’s owned properties, whether they’re residential or commercial.
- Business: the agent can invest, trade, and manage business transactions and decisions on behalf of the principal. They can also handle any legal issues.
- Finance: the agent can control banking, taxes, government transactions, retirement accounts, and make living trust and estate decisions. Financial power also allows the agent to make charitable donations and control insurance policies in the principal’s name.
- Family: the agent can purchase gifts, employ professionals, or manage personal property.
- General Authority: the agent can make any decisions on behalf of the principal when the principal is not physically or mentally present.
How Do You Choose Someone as Your Attorney-in-Fact?
The only legal requirements for selecting someone as your agent are that they must be over 18 years old and aren’t in a state of bankruptcy at the time of designation. Additionally, if you are appointing an agent for health reasons, they cannot be an employee of the place you are receiving treatment.
While you can appoint multiple agents, it’s essential to designate the various decisions they can make and choose people who won’t conflict when making decisions on your behalf. For example, you can give power of attorney to one person for business matters and power of attorney to another person for financial matters.
Whether you choose one or more person as an attorney-in-fact, take your time to make the decision. Since this person will be making decisions on your behalf, it should be someone you trust above everything else.
What Is the Best Type of Power of Attorney?
The best type of POA will depend on the responsibilities you want to give your attorney-in-fact. There are four types of POA forms:
- General POA: gives the agent the ability to make any decisions on behalf of the principal. Most often, general POA forms are used for property and financial management.
- Specific POA: gives the agent particular abilities to make certain decisions. A specific POA could allow the agent only to make business decisions.
- Ordinary POA: gives the agent the ability to make decisions on the principal’s behalf as long as the principal can make decisions as well. This document becomes invalid if the principal becomes incapacitated.
- Durable POA: gives the agent the ability to make decisions on behalf of the principal even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
Creating Your Power of Attorney with LegalZone
When you have someone you want to designate as your attorney-in-fact, LegalZone makes it easy and affordable to create and process your POA form.
If you’re unsure how much responsibility you want to give your agent, our questionnaire can help you determine what kind of POA is best for your situation.
To get started, contact us here.