How to Draw Up Power of Attorney Papers

By David Carnes

When you execute a power of attorney in favor of an agent, you are authorizing the agent to perform legal acts, such as consenting to medical treatment, that only you would be able to perform otherwise. A general power of attorney authorizes your agent to perform any legal act that you are entitled to perform, while a specific power of attorney authorizes him to perform only specific acts. Power of attorney laws differ slightly from state to state.

Step 1

Determine the powers that you wish to grant your agent. Very few people grant general powers of attorney. If you state your agent's authority too broadly, you run the risk that the agent will overstep the authority that you intended to grant him. If you state your agent's authority too narrowly, you run the risk that he will be unable to accomplish your intended purpose.

Step 2

Search the website of your state government to find out if it offers a statutory power of attorney form. Many states require you to use a statutory form for certain purposes, while other states offer them as an optional convenience.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now

Step 3

Research state law to determine how a power of attorney form must be witnessed. Many states require notarization, while other states allow one or more witnesses to be used instead of a notary public.

Step 4

Entitle the authorization document "Power of Attorney", if you are not using a statutory form. Identify yourself by name, include a formal statement that you are mentally competent, specify the powers you wish to grant to your agent and identify your agent by name. Specify any beginning and ending dates that you want to use. Alternatively, you might use an event to trigger the power of attorney -- for example, a medical power of attorney, usually called a Durable Power of Attorney, might be triggered whenever you become incapacitated, and expire whenever you regain capacity.

Step 5

Add signature lines for yourself, your agent and any required witnesses. Even if state law does not require your agent to sign the form, his signature provides evidence that he accepted his appointment.

Step 6

Sign the form, date it and have your agent and witnesses do the same. Give the authorization form to your agent.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
How to Obtain Power of Attorney

References

Related articles

How to Get Power of Attorney Over a Parent

A power of attorney is used to empower someone, known as the attorney-in-fact or agent, to make medical decisions, perform legal acts or engage in financial transactions on behalf of another, known as the principal. Since the principal cannot authorize power of attorney if he is "incompetent" -- unconscious, mentally incompetent or unable to communicate -- it is best to obtain power of attorney over an aging parent while he is still healthy. Your parent may revoke power of attorney at any time, as long as he is competent.

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 perform legal acts on his behalf to you, the agent. The principal may authorize you to perform any legal act that he is entitled to perform himself, or he may authorize you to perform a specific task, such as paying his bills while he is ill. Indiana state law governs the form, content and effects of a power of attorney executed by a principal who is an Indiana resident.

New York Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal relationship in which one person, known as the principal, authorizes another person, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to perform legal acts on his behalf. In 2009, major amendments to New York's General Obligations Law became effective. These amendments significantly revise New York law concerning the content and execution of a power-of-attorney form.

Related articles

How to Grant a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document in which a person, known as the principal, authorizes legal authority to ...

How to Get a Power of Attorney in Maryland

You obtain power of attorney when one person, known as the principal, delegates to you the power to perform binding ...

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 Fill Out a General Power of Attorney

You must fill out a general power of attorney correctly. If you make mistakes, you might give your agent powers you ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED