What Is Power of Attorney and How to Create One

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf. This means that your agent can make decisions about your finances, property, and medical care if you are unable to do so yourself.

How does a Power of Attorney work?

A POA is a very versatile document. It can be used to give your agent broad authority to handle all of your affairs, or it can be limited to specific tasks. For example, you could give your agent the authority to sell your home, but not the authority to make medical decisions for you.

Why might you need a Power of Attorney?

There are many reasons why you might need a POA. Some common reasons include:

  • Travel: If you are going to be traveling for an extended period of time, you may want to appoint someone to handle your affairs while you are gone.

  • Incapacity: If you become incapacitated due to an illness or injury, you may not be able to make decisions about your own affairs. A POA will ensure that someone you trust can make these decisions for you.

  • Death: If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of your state. A POA can help to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

How to create a Power of Attorney

There are two main types of POAs: durable and non-durable. A durable POA remains in effect even if you become incapacitated. A non-durable POA only takes effect if you become incapacitated.

To create a POA, you will need to:

  1. Find a template or form. There are many templates and forms available online or at your local library.

  2. Fill out the template or form. Be sure to include all of the necessary information, such as your name, your agent's name, and the powers that you are granting to your agent.

  3. Have the document notarized. A notary public will verify your identity and the authenticity of the document.

  4. Keep the original document in a safe place. You should also give copies of the document to your agent and any other interested parties.

Tips for creating a Power of Attorney

  • Choose your agent carefully. The person you choose to be your agent should be someone you trust and who is willing to act in your best interests.

  • Be specific about the powers you are granting. The more specific you are, the less likely there will be any confusion or conflict down the road.

  • Keep the document up-to-date. If you change your mind about who you want to be your agent or the powers you want to grant, be sure to update your POA.

In conclusion power of attorney is an important legal document that can give you peace of mind knowing that someone you trust will be able to take care of your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to create a POA today