How to Assign Power of Attorney

By Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

Assigning power of attorney (POA) to another individual or organization to act as your agent requires a written document that states the authority you are granting and bears your original signature. Most states use the same set of fundamental rules for creating a POA; however, you should familiarize yourself with the specific rules of your jurisdiction to assess whether additional requirements exist. Failure to satisfy all requirements can result in courts declaring the POA is invalid.

Step 1

Choose the person or organization you wish to act as your agent. When contemplating which person or organization to assign POA to, there are a number of factors you should consider such as trustworthiness, the agent’s knowledge of the transactions and personal issues she will be handling on your behalf and her place of residence or office location.

Step 2

Select the type of power you wish to assign to the agent. The three POA categories include the assignment of general powers, special powers and health care powers. General power allows your agent to control most of your personal affairs, the special power limits the types of transactions or issues the agent has authority over and the health care power only allows your agent to make health-related decisions on your behalf when you are mentally incompetent to make such decisions for yourself.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now

Step 3

Determine the length of time you need the POA to remain valid. You can assign power to an agent for as short or long of a period as you desire. However, you should carefully choose a duration that is sufficient to meet the underlying purpose of your POA.

Step 4

Memorialize the POA in writing. If you are not using a standard POA form that’s specific to your state, you must insure that the document is free of ambiguities and provides clear instructions on the powers you are assigning. Drafting a document that includes ambiguous terms makes the POA more vulnerable to validity challenges in court by third parties, which can ultimately frustrate the goals you wish to achieve when creating the POA.

Step 5

Sign the document in the presence of notary. At a minimum, you must always include the signature of a notary who verifies your identity and is present at the time you sign the POA document. However, it’s also beneficial to include the signature of an additional witness, such as a close family member or friend.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
Medical Situations That Require a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
 

References

Related articles

Power of Attorney Guidelines for State of Oregon

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf if you become incompetent of incapacitated. The Oregon Revised Statutes set forth the requirements for a valid power of attorney, who may serve as your agent and how the power of attorney may be used.

Colorado Power of Attorney Requirements

Colorado state law imposes a number of requirements to which all power of attorney documents must adhere for the state to legally recognize the assignment of authority it grants to an agent. Failure to adhere to these requirements can frustrate the purpose of the power of attorney and can potentially result in someone other than your agent, such as you next of kin, receiving the legal authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf.

How to Obtain Power of Attorney

You may face circumstances that require you to perform legal acts, such as withdrawing money from a bank account or consenting to medical treatment, on behalf of another person, known as the principal, who cannot perform these acts himself due to disability or other adverse circumstance. A valid power of attorney will allow you to perform these acts as agent for the principal without legal liability. Hospitals and banks often offer standardized power of attorney forms that have been drafted in accordance with state law. Otherwise, you may draft the appropriate form yourself.

Power of Attorney

Related articles

How to Draw Up Power of Attorney Papers

When you execute a power of attorney in favor of an agent, you are authorizing the agent to perform legal acts, such as ...

Guidelines for Assuming Power of Attorney

Becoming an agent through a power of attorney is an important undertaking since it involves managing the affairs of ...

How to Create a Temporary Power of Attorney

Under certain circumstances you may need to authorize someone else to perform legal acts on your behalf. Under these ...

How to Obtain Power of Attorney in Indiana

A power of attorney is a powerful legal device that allows a person, known as the principal, to delegate the power to ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED