Laws for Power of Attorney in New Hampshire

By Jeffry Olson, J.D.

Laws for Power of Attorney in New Hampshire

By Jeffry Olson, J.D.

A power of attorney in the state of New Hampshire allows a person, called the agent, to act on behalf of another, called the principal. The agent has the powers described in the power of attorney document. For example, the power of attorney frequently allows the agent to make decisions about things such as the principal's property and finances.

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Statutory Power of Attorney

The state of New Hampshire has a statute providing a form for the power of attorney. However, it is not necessary to follow the exact language of the statute so long as the document used provides similar information. For this reason, it is common to seek the assistance of an online service provider or attorney to write a power of attorney document.

Choosing an Agent

Agents are frequently family members, close friends, or professionals. When choosing an agent, the principal should first consider that person's ability to handle whatever she wishes to delegate—whether the power of attorney is broad or for a limited, specific purpose. Also consider the potential agent's personal qualities, such as honesty, responsibility, and loyalty to the principal. The agent should have the best interests of the principal in mind and handle matters as the principal would.

Powers of attorney grant agents significant power. Depending on the terms of the power of attorney document, the agent typically has access to the principal's finances and property.

A power of attorney does not prevent the principal from acting independently or eliminate the ability of the principal to make decisions. If the agent and principal disagree, the decision of the principal controls.

Executing a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is effective if signed by the principal. Notarization is not necessary unless the agent is involved in the transfer of real property. It also does not require witnesses or the signature of the agent.

The language of the document creating the power of attorney determines its duration. The authority a power of attorney gives can go into effect immediately, or the document can state a specific date or event that must occur for it to take effect. It may only last for a specific period of time, or it can continue indefinitely. Regardless, the principal can revoke the power of attorney at any time—unless it contains language saying it is irrevocable.

Death or Disability of the Principal

A power of attorney generally ends with the death of the principal. However, according to New Hampshire law, if the principal is a member of the armed forces, any action taken by the agent is valid as long as the agent did not know of the death of the principal.

Disability or incompetence of the principal also ends the power of attorney unless the language granting the power of attorney provides it continues in such an event. This is known as a durable power of attorney.

A durable financial power of attorney allows for the agent to continue to make financial decisions for the principal in the event the principal is incapacitated. This prevents the need to have a court appoint a guardian. It also ensures the principal has control over who will act as her agent. Principals are typically more comfortable selecting the agent rather than leaving it up to a court.

Power of Attorney in the State of New Hampshire

A power of attorney allows the agent to act on behalf of the principal. The agent is typically able to make decisions involving the principal's finances and real property. New Hampshire law limits the ability of the agent to give gifts, including gifts to the agent himself, though, unless the language of the power of attorney document specifically gives that power. A durable power of attorney allows the agent to make financial decisions even after the incapacitation of the principal. However, a power of attorney always ends upon the death of the principal.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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