You don’t need a lawyer to make a Power of Attorney. If you carefully follow the steps below, you should find it quite easy to make your own document without having to call up a lawyer for advice, or even carry out extensive research.
Step 1: The first step is to decide on the type of Power of Attorney that you want to make. There are two options that you can select from – general and limited. A general Power of Attorney gives your agent full power over your legal, financial and property affairs. It allows your authorized agent to enter into agreements on your behalf, and in your name, and to bind you legally. The scope of your agent’s authority covers the entire cross section of your legal and financial affairs. Subject to a few exceptions, whatever you could do legally, your agent will have the same authority to do. A specific or limited Power of Attorney, on the other hand, gives your agent limited powers to deal with specific matters set out in your document. Those limitations can be wide or narrow. For example, you could give your agent limited authority to sell a piece of real estate for a specific price, to a specific person, on specific terms and on a specific date. By adding these limitations, you greatly reduce the scope of your agent’s authority.
Both general and limited Powers of Attorney can be stated to be ordinary (non-durable) or durable. An ordinary Power of Attorney is one that automatically comes to an end if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself, or if you die. It can also come to an end on a specific date. A durable Power of Attorney, on the other hand, is not terminated if you become incapacitated and remains in effect. In fact, in many cases, it only commences when you become incapacitated.
You will need to decide what type of document you would like to make. Ordinary or limited, and durable or-non durable.
Step 2: The next step is to get your hands on a power of attorney template form to complete. There are several ways you can do this. You can buy a Power of Attorney form online, prepare a Power of Attorney online or buy a Power of Attorney kit. While you can purchase forms in many places, be sure to choose a reputable vendor with adequate estate planning expertise.
Step 3: The next step is to select the person you want to act as your agent. This should be someone that you trust implicitly as they will be able to act on your behalf and bind you legally. In most cases, people then to choose a family member or close friend.
Step 4: Set out in your Power of Attorney the scope of your agent’s authority to act on your behalf and any limitations that will apply to your agent’s powers.
Step 5: You should arrange to meet a notary and to sign the completed form in his or her presence. You should also have two people (other than the notary) attend with you so they can witness your signing of the document. The requirements for witnesses and notarization will vary from state to state.
While it is not usually necessary to have your document notarized, it is good practice.
How Can EstateBee Help You?
Our Online Power of Attorney Software allows you to make a make a power of attorney online. The software will guide you step-by-step through the entire process of creating a document that is customized to your individual circumstances.
If you prefer to read a little more about the subject before you make your document, then try out one of our legal kits or our book “Make Your Own Medical & Financial Powers of Attorney.” It will provide you with step-by-step instructions, detailed information and all the forms necessary to prepare a power of attorney and appoint agents to manage your affairs.
If you have any questions regarding our products or services, feel free to contact our customer service team.