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Power of Attorney Form

A power of attorney form is required whenever you need a person to engage in certain activities regarding healthcare, personal finance, or business matters. There are several different types of POA rights, so it's important to understand which form is required for the transactions that need to be made.

Each power of attorney form includes a Principal and Attorney-in-Fact. The principal is the person granting authority to make decisions for them. The attorney-in-fact is the person charged with the responsibility of completing the tasks.

Power of attorney does not have to be executed by a lawyer, but it's always a good idea to obtain legal counsel to make certain the document will hold up in court if problems arise. If not using a lawyer, POA forms can be downloaded via the Internet, purchased at office supply stores, or established using online legal services like LegalZoom.

Most physicians, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities have medical power of attorney forms and can assist people in filling them out. It's always a good idea to execute this kind of POA when hospitalized or having any type of surgery or medical procedure.

Medical POA allows the Principal to provide written directives regarding any type of medical treatment, procedure, or service that they do or do not want to have performed. Physicians are required by law to comply with the terms set forth in this document. If they refuse to comply they must allow your attorney-in-fact to transfer your care to another doctor.

A durable power of attorney lets the Principal authorize agents to engage in a broad scope of transactions including: banking, investments, insurance, real estate, and business transactions.

When setting up durable POA forms, the principal needs to state whether or not the agent receives financial compensation for their duties. When people designate a lawyer or accountant as the agent, chances are they will need to pay for services rendered.

A special power of attorney form is used to grant authority to the agent to engage in specific transactions. Also known as a limited POA, this form is used for things such as authorizing a person to manage bank transactions or complete a real estate transaction. It is commonly used to authorize an accountant to file personal tax returns on your behalf.

Special and limited power of attorney rights expire at a specific time. Powers are limited to the transactions listed within the form.

General power of attorney offers broad powers that can include everything from managing personal finances to operating a business. Agents are allowed to make nearly any decisions you would normally make for yourself. However, there are a few things agents cannot do including executing a last will and testament on your behalf or making medical decisions.

General power of attorney is frequently used as part of estate planning strategies. This type of POA remains in effect until the Principal dies or revokes privileges. Upon death, the personal representative designated in the last will takes over. The attorney-in-fact and personal representative can be the same person, or you can assign different people.

At any time, power of attorney privileges can be revoked by filling out a revocation POA form. In certain situations, such as when an agent is authorized to conduct real estate transactions, the POA form has to be recorded before powers are revoked.

While filling out a power of attorney form isn't difficult, it can be confusing. We invite you to learn more about the different types of available forms and how they are used in our personal finance article library.