A Power of Attorney (POA) form has the legal power to let you choose someone to be your attorney-in-fact. This person will be authorized to act on your behalf when you are unable to make decisions in important legal, financial, medical, business, and personal matters.
As you can expect, this is a crucial bit of long-term planning for the worst-case, what-if scenarios.
Don’t wait until something happens to you or a loved one. Use these samples as guidelines and references to drafting your own power of attorney form and appoint your legal agents. These forms focus on the medical branch of the POA.
When choosing your trusted few, know that there are different kinds of legal power you could be granting them.
The different powers of attorney can be generally classified based on their duration and scope of power.
Based on duration, POA can be either of the following:
Based on scope of power, POA can be either of the following:
Thanks to the complexity of drafting such forms, even if you find good, comprehensive, and easily editable MS Word Power of Attorney Templates online, it is recommended to get legal counsel before proceeding.
To make a lasting POA, you yourself need to be above 18 years old and capable of making your own decisions.
Your chosen agent . . .
. . . also has to be 18 years old and older. And capable of making their own decisions. On this note, pay careful consideration to how they themselves manage their affairs.
. . . need not be a lawyer. They can be anyone you know and trust, such as a longtime friend, a close family member, and even a trusted professional such as the family doctor, personal lawyer, etc.
. . . need not act alone. You can appoint more than one agent and decide whether they should make decisions alone (i.e., “separately”) or together as a team of co-agents (i.e., “jointly or severally,” in legal-speak).
. . . has to be trustworthy. You will be trusting them with your welfare, after all.
. . . has to be willing. And happy to take on this responsibility. If not, appoint someone else. If they are unsure they will be able to carry this role out to their fullest, it would be wise to appoint co-agents or successors.