A Financial Power of Attorney allows you to name your business or personal agent, someone who will make decisions or take actions on your behalf if you cannot. Your business or personal agent will make sure that your wishes are communicated to and taken into account by other parties. If you are out of the country when you are closing a business deal, paying a professional to manage your assets, keeping a personal assistant to do all of your banking and errands, or allowing your child to travel with a family friend, you can grant an agent power of attorney to sign documents on your behalf and/or make decisions for you.
A Non-Durable Power of Attorney is usually limited to specific situations and becomes effective immediately upon signing. It automatically ends when the specific situation is no longer in effect or when you die or become incapacitated. You can also rescind rescind it at any time.
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.
Instead, a POA allows you to take back control and proactively choose who YOU want to represent your best interests. By taking the time to create this important document, you can prevent both individual and familial suffering.