A Power of Attorney creates the ability for you to appoint another person as your agent, with full legal authority to sign on your behalf. A powerful tool in business and law, the power of attorney is often required for people who don’t have the physical or economical means to travel physically to sign a document.
If you trust your agent, you can allow them to act as your attorney, and sign legally binding agreements on your behalf. Commonly used by people who just can’t be everywhere at once, a power of attorney, used correctly, is a powerful, timesaving agreement.
You’ll need to do all of the proper research and homework first, but this template will give you a head-start and a good framework. You should always consult a lawyer though before finalizing any contracts.
There are a lot of situations where you may need to use a power of attorney (POA) to transfer legal authority from yourself to an agent. If you are the agent, you can produce a power of attorney, using this template, to enable your client to provide you with you the powers to complete the duties of your position. Whether you are an executive assistant, a legal guardian, or a healthcare worker, the power of attorney can be used multiple times in order to complete legal tasks for the person it represents.
In a power of attorney document, the provider or client transfers the authority of binding signature to an agent. This agent can then sign on the client’s behalf, on any document. If the power of attorney is limited, as is generally considered good practice, then the agent will not be able to sign any type of document, but only specific types, and the agent may have a time limitation on the powers, or other conditions present. A term is a very common provision of any legally enforceable document, and even unlimited terms should be stipulated. The agreement should always state the time that the agreement comes into force or effect, and the amount of time that it lasts for after the effective date, normally called “termination” or “termination date.”
Power of attorney is a very powerful document and allows the holding agent to make signatures on documents, such as binding contracts, just as if you were physically present there and made the signatures yourself. You should never give power of attorney to anyone you don’t trust very well with your personal, legal, and financial affairs.
A power of attorney is a binding legal agreement or letter, authorizing the grantee by the grantor, certain powers. There are several types of power of attorney letters, and they can even be required to be executed in special ways, depending on the jurisdiction and the type of letter. For example, a general power of attorney, the agent holding the “power” or letter may be able to sign anything that you yourself can sign, on your behalf.
Durable powers of attorney allow the agent to act on your behalf during a specific time, such as after executing the powers, and afterward if you become incapacitated. Like durable powers, springing powers allow the agent to act on your behalf only in the event of incapacitation, or trigger by another event. If you are appointing someone in your family, other than your spouse, with durable powers of attorney, you are authorizing them to potentially make decisions about your health without your direct consent (the power of attorney is the consent). In common law for many states, the spouse has a springing power of attorney, which comes into effect once the person becomes incapacitated to make decisions or to sign documents on their own.
You can even write powers of attorney for your financial advisor or broker, and they can make decisions on what to invest in or vote in financial matters at your company, for which you have voting rights, and the power of attorney can be limited for just that purpose. In older times, before the age of the internet, a letter of attorney was used to share the rights of attorney with an agent without meeting them in person. Today, the letter is quite rare, and in almost all cases, a proper “power of attorney” document is written.
Earlier, we mentioned that powers of attorney need sometimes to have special execution steps in order to be valid. If you need to use your agent to act on your behalf, interacting with a state government entity, you may need to get your power of attorney notarized. In the notarization process, a special certification is given to ensure that the document is properly witnessed.
If the power of attorney needs to be used overseas in another country, especially by a visa lawyer or another firm dealing with a foreign government, you may need to get the power of attorney legalized or apostilled. You should always check what additional notarizations, translations, legalizations, and apostilles that you need, as they are much easier to obtain while you are still in the country before you leave. Often times, the first documents- such as the first notarization of power of attorney- needs to be provided in person, before you can start dealing with additional documents remotely.
When dealing with the government, licensing, healthcare, or financial matters, often many documents are required, and you need to work tediously on long, complicated bureaucratic processes. By hiring an agent with expertise in these processes, you can save time and energy. In these cases, a power of attorney will be required, but the convenience it allows you can make the risk well worthwhile. Giving the ability to sign any legal document on your behalf to someone else isn’t a decision you should take lightly, so always take everything into consideration, and of course, discuss the decision with your lawyer before entering into a power of attorney agreement.