Durable Power of Attorney in Missouri

By A.L. Kennedy

Granting another person durable power of attorney allows that person to take care of your legal, financial, and medical affairs even if you become unable to take care of them yourself. Missouri law has specific requirements for creating a durable power of attorney that names someone your attorney-in-fact.

Definitions

A power-of-attorney document gives one person, known as the attorney-in-fact, the power to act on behalf of another person, known as the principal. Missouri law defines a "durable" power of attorney as one that allows the attorney-in-fact to act whether or not the principal is also capable of handling his own affairs. When acting on behalf of the principal, an attorney-in-fact has the power to make legal, financial and medical decisions that the principal may be held responsible for.

Text

In order to provide a durable power of attorney, a document that grants power of attorney must include the following text, or wording substantially like it, according to Missouri law: "This is a durable power of attorney and the authority of my attorney in fact shall not terminate if I become disabled or incapacitated or in the event of later uncertainty as to whether I am dead or alive." This wording and legal alternatives may be found in Missouri Revised Statutes Section 404.75.

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Consent

In order for a durable power of attorney to be valid in Missouri, the attorney-in-fact must agree to act on the principal's behalf in all situations, including those in which the principal cannot act for himself or cannot be found. If the attorney-in-fact does not agree to act when the principal is incapacitated, the durable power of attorney reverts to a "general" power of attorney, which is in effect only when the principal is capable of handling his own affairs.

Format

A written power-of-attorney document must be signed by the principal and dated, according to Missouri law. In order to ensure that the durable nature of the power of attorney is not questioned, it's also wise to put the attorney-in-fact's consent in writing, signed and dated by the attorney-in-fact. Missouri law does not require a durable power of attorney to be recorded with a court in order to be effective, except when the attorney-in- fact handles real estate transactions, like buying or selling property, on the principal's behalf, according to Missouri Revised Statutes section 404.705.

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Medical Situations That Require a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

References

Resources

Related articles

Does a Durable Power of Attorney Need to Be Notarized?

A durable power of attorney is a document signed by a person, referred to as the principal, who is appointing another person, known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to sign documents or perform actions on the principal's behalf. A power of attorney is considered durable if it remains effective even after the principal becomes incompetent or unable to act for himself. This important document must be prepared in accordance with state law. A defective or incomplete power of attorney may be refused when presented for use.

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 another person. Several considerations must be taken into account by the principal when drafting a POA and limiting the actions an agent may take, including designating the triggering event for when the agent takes over the principal's affairs, the breadth of the agent's authority, and under what circumstances the agent's powers terminate.

Can I Be Held Responsible for Nursing Home Bills as Power of Attorney for an Individual?

Losing the ability to make decisions regarding personal finances is a reality that often comes with advanced age. For elderly people who are nursing home residents, having an effective power of attorney (POA) in place helps ensure that day-to-day financial affairs will be handled in the case of incapacity. However, agreeing to serve as an agent under a POA does not make you personally responsible for payment of nursing home bills. For that reason, the law provides that you make decisions that further the best interest of the incapacitated person.

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