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 Special or Limited POA gives an Agent the power to act on your behalf, but only specific powers. You can create several Special POAs, with different agents granted different powers. Here is a list of some of the specific powers you can grant to your Agent:.
- Sign checks.
- Withdraw money.
- Make a gift.
- Create, amend, revoke, or terminate an inter vivos trust.
- Create or change rights of survivorship.
- Create or change a beneficiary designation.
- Authorize another person to exercise authority granted by the power of attorney.
- Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan.
- Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate.
The most important part of this document is the choice of agent. This person will be in charge of many financial assets once the principal sign sthe document. Generally, people select close family members, such as spouses or children, or long-time friends. However, any person whom a principal trusts to make the best decisions on their behalf can be chosen. Be aware that if the principal chooses a spouse and then later ends the marriage, the spouse s power will automatically terminate.
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.