Can a Power of Attorney Have a Debit Card?

By Teo Spengler

A power of attorney is a legal document you can create to name another person to act in your place. Powers of attorney are both helpful and dangerous, depending on the integrity of the person named as your agent. A general power of attorney confers broad powers, including the right to access bank accounts with debit cards.

A power of attorney is a legal document you can create to name another person to act in your place. Powers of attorney are both helpful and dangerous, depending on the integrity of the person named as your agent. A general power of attorney confers broad powers, including the right to access bank accounts with debit cards.

Financial Power of Attorney

A power of attorney document authorizes your named agent to make either financial or medical decisions for you. The agent you name has a legal duty to act in your best interests. Financial powers of attorney can confer limited authority, such as giving an agent the right to sell your car, or a broader, more general authority. You can make a durable power of attorney to appoint someone to handle your affairs in case you become incapacitated. As long as you are competent, you can terminate or alter the power of attorney.

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General Power of Attorney

Many states offer power of attorney forms that residents can use to create effective legal documents, but forms are also available from attorneys, some banks and online legal service providers. If you sign a general power of attorney form without including any limitations, you give your agent authority to take any financial action on your behalf that you could take yourself, including obtaining a debit card.

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Can the Power of Attorney Add Signers to Bank Accounts?

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Related articles

Can There Be More Than One Power of Attorney?

When you want to give someone authority to make decisions in your place, a power of attorney is one way to proceed. This legal document gives one person, called the agent, the power to act for another person, called the principal. In the document, you describe the scope of authority you are granting your agent. Powers of attorney are intended to benefit the principal making them, so generally you are free to create as many as suit your needs.

Can a Power of Attorney Take Money?

When you give someone a power of attorney to accomplish tasks on your behalf, you make that person your agent, and his actions have the same legal authority as if you had taken those same actions. For example, if you give your agent authority to access your bank accounts, he can take money from the account. However, your agent has a legal duty to act in your best interests, so he can’t use the money for his own benefit.

General Power of Attorney in Washington State

The state of Washington allows individuals to grant authority to others through a power of attorney. This document authorizes an agent or agents to act on behalf of a principal. A “general” power of attorney gives broad scope to these actions, so such a document should be carefully drawn up and offered only to someone you trust.

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