Frequently Asked Questions about Power of Attorney

If you are considering getting a power of attorney, you should fully understand the process, what it entails, and what it means.

Below are several frequently asked questions about Power of Attorney documents.

Do I need to appoint a lawyer as an agent?

While the agent is usually called the attorney-in-fact, you can appoint any competent person above the age of 18. It is important to consider what exactly you will be relying on your agent to do and if the person named is both willing and capable of filling the role.

How is a power of attorney created?

A document containing certain information needs to be signed in front of two witnesses and a notary public. A valid power of attorney states yourself as the principal, identifies the agent you name as well as an alternate, and lists the particular authorities with which you are entrusting them.

Is it possible to make a power of attorney if I get mentally incapacitated?

No, to create a valid power of attorney a person must be over the age of 18 and mentally competent at the time of signing. This is why it is so important to start planning sooner rather than later.

Could a power of attorney be revoked?

So long as a person is still mentally competent they can revoke any power of attorney document they have signed. It is your right to revoke any authority you provide a person through a power of attorney anytime. You should have an attorney draft a revocation form and distribute copies to all institutions and agencies that would have dealt with the original such as a bank or hospital. It is also important to ensure your agent is formally given a copy.

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