If you take the time to create a Power of Attorney, you want to make sure that it will be effective. There are situations where your document may be rejected, or powerless if you aren’t careful. Here are a few steps you can take to help ensure your POA won’t be powerless:
- Use a state-specific form – Each state has different laws and statutes governing this document. Our state-specific forms are customized for each particular state.
- Make sure you have all signatures and authorizations – Some banks and financial institutions have specific requirements as to who needs to sign the document.
- Keep it up-to-date – If your state has rewritten its laws or your document is more than several years, it may be considered ‘stale’ and may need to be updated.
- Get it witnessed and notarized – Sign your document in front of witnesses, stating that you were competent and signed the document voluntarily. Also make sure to get your document authenticated by a notary public.
A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to name your health agent, someone who will make health decisions for you if you cannot. Your health care agent will also ensure that your health care providers give you the care you wish to receive. You can also require that your health care agent communicate in any manner with you about any specific proposed health care. For example, you may still be able to communicate by blinking your eyes. Many states, however, combine a Living Will and Power of Attorney into one advance directive form.
A Springing or Conditional POA only goes into effect if a certain event or condition occurs. It can end at a specific time, when you become incapacitated or when you die.
You can name more than one attorney-in-fact if you believe that different people will better handle certain decisions or transactions. You may also name a fiduciary, such as an accountant, lawyer, or other professional as your attorney-in-fact if you wish.