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.
The powers that you can grant your attorney-in-fact include:
- Real Estate: To buy, sell, rent, or otherwise manage residential, commercial, and personal real estate.
- Business: To invest, trade, and manage any and all business transactions and decisions, as well as handle any claim or litigation matters.
- Finance: To control banking, tax, and government and retirement transactions, as well as living trust and estate decisions. Financial powers also allows your representative to control personal insurance policies and to continue donating to any charities in your stead.
- Family: To purchase gifts, employ professionals, and to buy, sell or trade any of your personal property.
- General Authority: This grants your personal attorney the authority to make any decisions that you would be able to if you were personally present.
Power of attorney, also referred to as a POA, is a legal document that allows a person (principal) to choose someone else (agent or attorney-in-fact) to represent their financial, medical, tax, vehicle, parental, or any other needs selected. The document does not need an attorney to create (although it is always advised that a person seek legal counsel) and after completion, depending on the State, signatures need to be witnessed by at least two (2) people or by a notary public (preferred).
Most states will recognize any POA that is validly signed in another state. So if you make a valid document while living in one state and then move to another state, your document will still be valid in your new state of residence. However, it may be a good opportunity to update your document and prevent it from being “stale”.