Power of Attorney Forms

By: Kent Pinkerton

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that evidences the creation of a liaison between two people who are designated as "principal" and "agent". Through this document, the principal authorizes the agent to act on his or her behalf. A Power of Attorney can be general, so that the agent can conduct any sort of business on behalf of the principal, or it may be specific, i.e. restricted to the business expressly mentioned in the document.

To create a legally legitimate Power of Attorney, the principal must complete and sign a fill-in-the-blank form, usually found in statute books or at a law library. This is known as the Power of Attorney form. If he or she needs help locating or filling out the form, a lawyer is the best option. After the principal fills out the form, he or she must sign it in front of a notary public. In some states, it is a requisite for at least two witnesses to watch him or her sign the form.

Banks and other financial institutions sometimes have their own forms to cover just the transactions in which they are involved. If the principal wants to give someone authority to operate his bank account, for instance, he or she must inform the bank and ask if it has its own durable Power of Attorney form. If the agent is being given authority to deal with the principal's real estate, he or she may need to put a copy on file at the local land records office.

A Power of Attorney form must include all of the following information: the principal's name and postal address; social security number; the time duration involved; a clear statement as to the powers granted to the agent; and the principal's signature and date. For estate tax matters, the decedent's name, date of death, and the agent's authorization must all be included.

Other Power of Attorney forms include Power of Attorney Revocation, Power of Attorney by Husband and Wife, and in some states, Power of Attorney for Property and Finances.

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