How to Fill Out a Power of Attorney

By Anna Assad

A properly completed power of attorney form allows one person, the agent, to act in place of another, the principal. The power of attorney is a legal granting of authority from the principal to the agent. The agent can perform certain actions for the principal as defined in the signed power of the attorney itself, such as signing a real estate contract or loan documents.

Step 1

Locate Power of Attorney forms. These can be found online, at libraries, and at some stationary stores. Enter the full legal name of the person giving the authority on the "principal" line. Write the person's current home address after her name.

Step 2

Enter the full legal name of the person receiving the authority on the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact" line. Write the agent's address after his name.

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Step 3

Read the instructions for the provisions section carefully. Power of attorney forms vary by state, as does the format for designating the agent's powers on the power of attorney form. Some forms require the principal place her initials next to each type of power she wants to give, while others require she initial and cross out only powers she doesn't want to give. Follow the instructions shown on the form.

Step 4

Locate the space provided for other powers not listed on the form. Insert any additional powers the principal wants to give the agent using clear wording. For example, if the principal wants the agent to be able to give cash gifts of $2,000 of less, don't just put "Give gifts" in the other powers section, as that doesn't limit the amount or type of gifts the principal can give. Use clear wording such as, "Give cash gifts of $2,000 or less only."

Step 5

Enter the date terms of the power of attorney. The document might have a blank space for a termination date -- a date the powers automatically expire -- or you can enter a date. Don't enter a date if the principal wants the powers to go on indefinitely; leave the area blank.

Step 6

Check off or mark the box that specifies when the power of attorney goes into effect. Select the "date of my signature" option if the principal wants the agent to have authority immediately. Select the "upon my disability" or "incapacitation" option if the principal only wants the agent to have authority if she's incapacitated. If selecting the "date of my signature" option, indicate whether the agent's powers end or continue if she becomes incapacitated.

Step 7

Complete the alternate or successor agent section if the principal wants to name a person who will become her agent if the first agent is unable to act as such. Enter the alternate agent's full legal name and address in the provided space.

Step 8

Ask the principal to sign and date the power of attorney document in front of a notary. Notarial services are typically available at banks and government buildings. The power of attorney must be notarized.

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How to Obtain Power of Attorney in the State of Ohio
 

References

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How to Get Power of Attorney in Alberta

An enduring power of attorney allows you to make financial decisions for another person in Alberta. The donor is the person granting the authority and the recipient is the attorney. Adults and financial institutions can act as an attorney. The attorney can act on behalf of the donor in any financial matter authorized by the donor on the enduring power of attorney. You can get power of attorney for another person by having her complete an enduring power of attorney form that is valid under Alberta law.

How to Stop a Power of Attorney

You can stop a power of attorney you granted to another person by completing a revocation form, and you must do so as soon as possible to prevent the person from acting on your behalf. A power of attorney allows one person, the agent, to act in place of another person, the principal, in various matters, including bank and real estate transactions.

Can a Person Give or Turn Over Her Power of Attorney to Someone Else?

Although a power of attorney involves two persons, it is not a contract and can be unilaterally revoked. The person making the document, termed the principal, uses the power of attorney to name an agent to act for her. A competent principal is free to revoke that authority at any time and confer it on another agent. The person named as agent can also decline to serve but cannot give or transfer her authority under the power of attorney to another.

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