Powers of Attorney in the United States are subject to the laws of individual states, so the document changes to conform to your particular state s laws. There is no overall federal law concerning Powers of Attorney, but there is a model Uniform Power of Attorney Act which many states have adopted, fully or partially.
This document can be used if someone is looking to appoint an agent to make financial decisions for them right now, or if someone would like to set up a document that is ready to go in case of incapacity. In this document, the principal or their representative will be able to enter pertinent identifying details about the parties. The person filling out the document will also be asked a series of questions to define exactly what types of authority the principal wants to give the agent.
In addition, if you ever become incapacitated, without this document, even if you have a spouse, the court may need to step in and appoint a guardian or conservator for you. The process of appointing a guardian is costly and requires the guardian to formally report your situation to the court each year. CNN Money estimates that the process of obtaining a court appointed guardian exceeds $1,000. If this is the situation you find yourself in now, please read our guide about getting guardianship over your elderly parent here.
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.
power of attorney
power of attorney document