A power of attorney is an important legal document that grants someone else the authority to act on your behalf. This can be useful in situations where you are unable to make decisions for yourself, such as due to illness or travel. As a notary, I often assist clients with the process of executing a power of attorney. In this blog post, I’ll provide an overview of what to do when you need a power of attorney. Keep in my that each state may have unique requirements.

*Please note, I am not an attorney; the article is for general informational purposes only and is not provided as legal advice.

Step 1: Determine the type of power of attorney you need.

There are different types of power of attorney, each with its own purpose and scope. The most common types include:

  • General Power of Attorney: Gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf in a broad range of matters, such as managing your finances, paying bills, and making legal decisions.
  • Limited Power of Attorney: Gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf in a specific matter or for a limited period of time, such as selling a piece of property or making medical decisions while you are out of the country.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: Similar to a general or limited power of attorney, but with the added provision that the authority granted to the other person continues even if you become incapacitated.

Step 2: Choose the person you want to grant power of attorney to.

The person you grant power of attorney to, also known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, should be someone you trust to act in your best interests. This could be a family member, friend, or professional such as a lawyer.

Step 3: Draft the power of attorney document.

The power of attorney document should clearly state the type of power of attorney being granted, the scope of the authority being given to the agent, and any limitations or restrictions on that authority. It must also be signed and dated by you, as well as witnessed by a notary public.

Step 4: Have the power of attorney notarized.

In order for the power of attorney to be legally binding, it must be notarized by a licensed notary public. This involves the notary verifying your identity, witnessing your signature, and affixing their official seal to the document.

Step 5: Keep the power of attorney in a safe place.

Once the power of attorney has been signed and notarized, it should be kept in a safe place where it can be easily accessed if needed. You may want to give a copy to your agent and keep a copy with your other important documents.

Creating a power of attorney can be an important step in planning for the future and ensuring that your affairs are taken care of if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. To get started, determine the type of power of attorney you need, choose a trusted agent, draft the document, have it notarized, and keep it in a safe place.

If you have any questions or concerns about the power of attorney process, be sure to consult with a legal professional.

Linda, Precision Notary