Power of Attorney Letter Examples

By Louis Kroeck

A power of attorney letter is also called a power of attorney agreement or simply a power of attorney. These documents can be used for a variety of purposes but typically are used by one person to grant certain legal powers of representation to another. For example, an aging parent might sign a power of attorney giving his daughter the authority to pay his bills or make health care decisions on his behalf. A power of attorney document can take various forms, depending on the situation at hand.

Power of Attorney Defined

A power of attorney letter is a document that gives another party the legal right to take action on your behalf under certain circumstances. Some power of attorney letters only convey the power to act if the grantor is incapacitated; others grant unlimited legal power to make decisions on the grantor's behalf in financial affairs, health care, buying and selling property, signing contracts and handling matters related to government benefits.

Health Care Power of Attorney

One example of a power of attorney letter is a health care power of attorney. This type of document gives your appointee the power to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unconscious, mentally incompetent or otherwise unable to make your own medical decisions. One decision that might be granted under a health care power of attorney is the right to direct doctors to withdraw life support if the grantor lapses into an irreversible coma.

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Special Power of Attorney

Another common power of attorney agreement is the special power of attorney. This document generally gives the grantee the right to conduct some particular business on behalf of the grantor. This type of letter might be used if the grantor expects to be out of the country and needs some transaction conducted on his behalf. A special power of attorney would specify what activities are to be performed, and it might also contain a clause stating when the power expires.

Revocation

Caution should always be exercised when using a power of attorney agreement or any legal document downloaded from the Web. Certain restrictions may apply in your state that would invalidate your power of attorney letter as a matter of law. Furthermore, granting someone power of attorney is a serious matter that requires careful consideration. It is always wise to discuss your options with a lawyer and have your legal documents professionally prepared or reviewed.

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How to Write a Special Power of Attorney Letter
 

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Power of Attorney & Mental Illness

One way you can help a relative or friend living with mental illness is to become his agent through the creation of a mental health power of attorney. A mental health POA is a legal document that makes you a substitute decision maker in situations where your loved one is unable to make treatment and self-care decisions due to a recurrence of mental illness. The mental health POA contains language reflecting your loved one's treatment preferences.

Can a Power of Attorney Give Away a Life Estate?

A power of attorney is a written document wherein a principal grants an agent the power to take action on the principal’s behalf. Powers of attorney are often granted because the principal wants to take a specific action but cannot do it personally for some reason. What an agent can and cannot do is defined in the power of attorney document. A power of attorney can grant an agent the ability to give away a life estate specifically or the right to distribute a principal’s property subject to whatever terms the agent sees fit. However, the power of attorney may limit the circumstances in which an agent can use his power.

Do-It-Yourself Power of Attorney

A power of attorney grants someone else the power to perform legal acts for you, such as consenting to medical treatment or signing a contract in your name. Some states require the use of statutory forms for certain purposes, and some websites offer optional templates that you can use. You can use a power of attorney that you drafted yourself as long as it complies with state law.

Power of Attorney

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