What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document presented to provide authority to act for another person's behalf during a legal transaction or financial matters. You may limit the authority you provide your agents depending on the type of power of attorney you provide them.

How to Create a Power of Attorney

power of attorney template

Power of attorney can be very helpful when you are unable to handle affairs due to illness, accidents, or absences. When you become incapacitated, your family does not automatically have the right and access to make decisions for you, nor process legal matters on your behalf. This is why, it is important to have a power of attorney to make it easier for your agents to handle your transactions.

1. Choose a Power of Attorney

There are a lot of power of attorney to choose from, but your power of attorney will vary on your current needs. This varies from being an authority given to process financial matters, health and personal welfare, or some other legal matters. Simply determine the correct type of power of attorney.

2. Choose Your Agent

Talk to your family members or someone you truly trust to handle your transactions and other official matters. Discuss your reasons and instruct them properly on the specific task you wish them to carry out. Consider their age, health, and the location of your potential agents.

3. Check Your State's Requirements

Though most states have similar requirements for the power of attorney, there are times when you are asked to fill out special forms to complete your process. In case you happen to get caught in a tight and complicated situation, never hesitate to hire an attorney to aid you in the process to avoid delays and conflicts.

4. Name the Parties and Witnesses

Name the parties you wish to authorize in your power of attorney. This should include your full name as the grantee and the name of your agent. You may include alternate agents in case your first agent is unable to do your bidding. Then gather witnesses for your power of attorney to testify your transaction with your agent. Two witnesses are enough to complete the document.

5. Seek a Lawyer

Of course, you need a lawyer to complete the transaction. Lawyers are trained to review legal documents such as your power of attorney. Ask your lawyer for advice on your power of attorney and prepare a revocation of the power of attorney if ever you wish to change your mind about it. Then, have your document notarized for legal purposes.

6. Present the Document to the Institution

Now that your power of attorney is good to go, present the document to any institutions you want to recognize it. This is commonly presented on banks, brokerage firms, and medical institutions. Make sure that you have met all requirements for them to accept the powers you gave to your agent. Once everything is settled, sign your power of attorney, let the rest of the parties sign it, then keep a copy for yourself.

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