Power of Attorney Type – FindLaw
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document in which one person (the client) gives another person (the agent or the actual lawyer) the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the client.
When an agent presents a power of attorney to a third party or company, he can treat the agent as if he were dealing with the client. Unless the third party or company knows that the power of attorney is forged or revoked, they are usually protected from civil liability for dealing with an agent.
The representatives have a fiduciary duty to act in good faith and in the best interests of the client. In extreme cases such as fraud or embezzlement, if an agent breaches fiduciary duty to the principal, they may face civil lawsuits or criminal prosecution.
This is how you get a power of attorney
Each state has slightly different laws for creating a valid power of attorney, but the general steps are the same. If you are creating a power of attorney yourself, you can use the following steps to obtain a power of attorney:
1. Select your agent
Since your agent’s actions are binding, you should choose someone who is responsible, trustworthy, and understands your motivations and desires.
An agent has to be an adult. You can choose a trusted friend or family member, or a professional such as a lawyer or an accountant.
You can select more than one agent for the same authorization. However, it is usually better to name an agent to avoid confusion. When you appoint co-agents, your power of attorney must indicate whether they can act independently or whether they must act unanimously or by majority vote. You should also select one or more successor agents to help make decisions if your original agent dies, resigns, or becomes incapacitated.
State health authority laws often prohibit certain individuals from serving as health care representatives; B. Your doctor or a member of a nursing home or healthcare facility.
2. Select the types of permissions you want to give your agent
Ask yourself questions about the authority you want your agent to have. Some questions to think about are:
- Would you like your agent to have authority to handle all of your finances or just certain types of transactions?
- Would you like your agent to make healthcare decisions?
- Would you like your agent’s power to last for a limited time or for an indefinite period of time?
- Would you like your agent’s power to take effect immediately or only when you are incapacitated?
- Do you need your agent to look after your children?
3. Use a power of attorney form
After you have decided who your agent is and what types of authority he will have, you can begin granting your power of attorney.
There is no need to create a power of attorney from scratch. We provide access to power of attorney forms for your state designed for financial and health decisions.
When completing your form, make sure you clearly state what authority you are giving your agent.
4. Sign your power of attorney with witnesses or a notary
Depending on the laws of your state, you will need either a witness or a notary to sign your power of attorney. Even if a notary is not needed, it is often a good idea to have it notarized. Many people and businesses are more likely to accept a notarized power of attorney than one that is only signed by witnesses.
If you use witnesses, make sure that they are approved as witnesses under the law of your state. Many states prohibit certain individuals, such as your agent or family doctor, from signing as witnesses.
5. Hand over your power of attorney to the required persons
You should give your agents power of attorney so that they can demonstrate to other people that they are authorized to act on your behalf. In some states, an agent must sign a power of attorney acceptance or confirmation letter before acting.
If you know that your agent is dealing with certain people or companies, you can give them a copy of the Power of Attorney to further ensure that your agent has approval from you.
For powers of attorney for healthcare, you should give a copy to your GP and the hospitals or health care facilities you treat.