What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney also known as POA is a legal document which allows you to give another person the rights to act on your behalf. It is a legal relationship between you and another person, where you are the “principal” and the person you choose to act on your behalf is an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent”. Doing so gives your “attorney-in-fact” the authority to take decisions on your behalf and perform actions which you have given him the rights for.
The Power of Attorney document which you sign has the rights and limitations specified in the terms which you need specify clearly and understand it correctly. A Power of Attorney can be limited or broad in nature giving the attorney-in-fact only specific rights or complete rights.
We provide all the information you need about getting a power of attorney for you, free power of attorney template and samples , step by step instructions on filling a power of attorney, ways you can revoke a POA form and much more. However we do not provide any legal advice nor shall you consider the material available on this website as legal advice. We highly recommend you to hire an attorney before using any power of attorney forms you may download from this website.
There are different powers you can assign your attorney-in-fact such as
- Making health care related decisions.
- Making financial decisions.
- Acting on your behalf for Tax related matters.
- Signing on your behalf for Title and Registration of vehicles.
- Selling or purchasing real estate on your behalf.
Since an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” have legal authority over all the decisions taken by them on your behalf it is always necessary that you choose a trustworthy person as your “agent”. Either you choose your agent from your close relatives or friends you need to trust them enough to make decisions for your best interests and that they do not misuse or abuse the powers given to them.
Types of Power of Attorney Forms
- General Power of Attorney Form – Gives broad power.
- Special or Limited Power of Attorney – Gives power over special tasks, such as selling a property or signing a title or registration for a motor vehicle.
- Durable Power of Attorney Form – Remains in effect even if you are incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions.
- Medical or Health Care Power of Attorney – Powers related to making health care or medical decisions on your behalf.
- Tax Matters Power of Attorney – Allows you to appoint someone else on your behalf to appear before the Tax department and sign documents on your behalf.
Do I need a lawyer for power of attorney?
Although you may find State Specific power of attorney forms on this website as well as on other websites, sometimes you may have some doubts about the terms, clauses or limitations of a POA Form in your State.You must also be aware that forms available for free over the internet may not be 100% reliable or updated as per the state laws.
Usually when preparing the power of attorney you need to understand about the rights you are going to authorize your agent with and if you have clearly understood the rights you might not need any professional help but if you have any doubts you might consider consulting an attorney.
Some sites may also offer you guidance to create the Power of Attorney forms as per your requirements, typically a power of attorney document only requires your (principal) signature, your agent’s or attorney-in-fact’s signature, two (2) adult witnesses or be signed in presence of a Notary Public.
Since drafting any legal form is a challenging process especially if you have very little knowledge about the legal terms it is always recommended that you seek legal advice from an attorney or lawyer in your state.