Power Of Attorney Forms

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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A power of attorney is as legal as it sounds. It's a document in which you assign the right to someone else to act legally for you, whether to sign checks, buy or sell property, handle your investments, or something else altogether. In essence, the person to whom you sign over a power of attorney is your agent. A power of attorney form will specify the particulars.

What Powers of Attorneys Grant

A power of attorney form needn't be anything more than a letter stipulating the details, signed by you, and notarized. That way it becomes a public document, which is important over time, for obvious enough reasons. It's wiser to work with a power of attorney template, with prepared language that's been vetted by an attorney. That way you're more likely to avoid problems later.

Such forms are available from any number of businesses in the business of providing generic legal document forms for a nominal fee. The alternative is to consult an attorney to draw up a power of attorney for you. The attorney will, in all likelihood, use the exact same form that the service bureau uses, or one very like it. The attorney, however, will charge considerably more for it, on the basis of the legal advice he or she is providing at the same time. If you're quite clear yourself on the use of the power of attorney you want to draw up, and you should be, all you really need is the form.

It's important to understand, though, that there are two types of powers of attorney, standard and durable. A standard power of attorney--that is, one not explicitly identified as durable--stays in force until the stated time expires or, if there is no time stated, until the person granting the power becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney covers the period one is incapacitated as well. And, because the law doesn't like to be but so simple, there are two types of durable powers of attorney, financial and medical. In the first, the agent is empowered to make financial decisions, and in the second, to make medical ones.


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