How to Write a Power of Attorney Letter

By John Cromwell

A power of attorney, or attorney letter, is a form that grants someone the ability to make legally binding decisions for another. An individual may use a power of attorney for personal and business reasons. How a power of attorney is executed depends on the laws of the state where the transferor is located. The Uniform Power of Attorney Act provides a basis for general standards that may be applicable across many jurisdictions. The UPAA has been enacted by 11 states as of January 2012.

Step 1

Assess the situations you need your designated representative to handle. A power of attorney is normally drafted in response to circumstances where you expect to be unavailable and need someone to act on your behalf. Examples of situations where a power of attorney would be helpful include medical emergencies when you are unconscious and financial transactions where you are unavailable.

Step 2

Determine the degree of power you wish to transfer. You generally only want to assign as much power of attorney necessary for the representative to meet the needs of the circumstances. A general power of attorney grants your representative unlimited power to manage your assets and financial affairs, and a durable power allows the agent to retain that power if you become incapacitated. A limited power of attorney restricts the agent to using his power only in defined, specific circumstances.

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Step 3

Obtain a power of attorney form that is valid in your jurisdiction. To ensure your power of attorney complies with your state's legal standards, you can check the website of your state's Secretary of State for blank forms.

Step 4

Draft the power of attorney. When drafting a power of attorney, it is important to specify what powers you are conferring and in what circumstances those abilities may be used. For example, you might write a power of attorney to grant a representative the authority to enter into a contract with a supplier.

Step 5

Sign the power of attorney. The person who wishes to transfer authority using the power of attorney must either sign the document or have the document signed in her presence. Although state requirements vary, some require the document to be notarized by a notary public.

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Can the Power of Attorney Add Signers to Bank Accounts?


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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.

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 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.

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

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