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A Durable Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that grants a selected individual or organization the authority to handle legal and financial affairs on your behalf, such as signing contracts,... Read more

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Making a Durable Power of Attorney

  • What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

    A Durable Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that grants a selected individual or organization the authority to handle legal and financial affairs on your behalf, such as signing contracts, accessing your bank account, and buying or selling property, when you are unable to. It is "durable" because it endures or remains in effect even if you are incapacitated.

    The person giving permission is called the "principal," and the people or organizations receiving authority are called the "agents." Suited for everyone, our Power of Attorney can be used in all fifty states. All Durable Power of Attorney forms from Rocket Lawyer can be edited for your specific scenario. As a result of having this official document, your representative will be able to offer verification to financial institutions and other parties that they can legally sign documents or take other actions for you.

  • How can I get a Durable Power of Attorney template for free?

    It's simple and easy to give or receive the authority you might need with a free Durable Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make your PoA - Provide a few general details and we will do the rest
    2. Send or share - Review the PoA with your agent or ask a lawyer
    3. Sign it - Mandatory or not, notarization and witnesses are encouraged

    This solution is, in most cases, much more affordable than working with a conventional provider. If necessary, you may fill out a PoA on behalf of your spouse, an elderly parent, or another relative, and then have them sign after you've drafted it. Keep in mind that for a PoA form to be considered legally valid, the principal must be an adult who is mentally competent when they sign. If the principal has already been declared legally incompetent, a court-appointed conservatorship might be necessary. When managing such a scenario, it would be important to speak with an attorney.

  • Do I need to have a Durable PoA?

    Anyone who is over 18 ought to have a Power of Attorney. Though it can be difficult to think about, a time will likely come when you cannot deal with your affairs on your own. There may also be moments when you're merely out of pocket. Here are a few common circumstances where you might find PoA forms to be useful:

    • You would like to grant a trusted person power to deal with specific legal or financial matters in your absence or if you become ill
    • You live in a care facility and need help managing your finances
    • You are aging or dealing with limited mobility or ongoing health issues
    • You have plans to travel or move out of state temporarily or permanently

    Regardless of whether your Durable Power of Attorney is being made in response to an emergency or as part of a long-term plan, notarization and witnesses can help to protect your agent if their privileges are disputed.

    Legal resources for a Durable Power of Attorney: Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA)

  • Which type of Power of Attorney do I need to make?

    There are multiple ways to classify PoA documents. They are mainly based on how long the powers will be valid, when they come into effect, and what they will provide authority over. Often, you'll see them described in these four groups:

    • Springing Power of Attorney - Comes into effect based on certain events or criteria
    • Durable Power of Attorney - Remains valid even when you become incapacitated or mentally incompetent
    • Special Power of Attorney - Grants limited powers over selected affairs
    • General Power of Attorney - Grants a broad scope of authority over your affairs

    When generating your free Durable Power of Attorney with Rocket Lawyer, you may opt to have the power begin upon signing, on a precise day, or only at the time when you are not capable. The Power of Attorney can expire on a specific date or when you pass away.

  • Do I need to hire a lawyer to review my PoA?

    Durable PoA forms are usually straightforward; however, you may need advice. Hiring a legal professional to review your Durable Power of Attorney could be relatively time-consuming. An easier and more cost-effective way to double-check your document is to request help from Rocket Lawyer attorney services. By signing up for a Premium membership, you can get your documents reviewed or send any legal questions. As always, Rocket Lawyer is by your side.

  • How much would I typically need to pay to get a Durable Power of Attorney form?

    The cost of meeting and hiring an attorney to generate a Power of Attorney might be between two hundred and five hundred dollars, depending on your location. Unlike many other websites that you may come across, Rocket Lawyer offers much more than a Power of Attorney template. If you ever need assistance from a lawyer, your Rocket Lawyer membership provides up to 40% in savings when you hire an attorney.

  • What should I do after drafting a Durable Power of Attorney?

    After making your PoA document on Rocket Lawyer, you will have the ability to open it anytime and anywhere. With a membership, you will be able to make edits, save it as a PDF document or Word file, and sign it. Each Power of Attorney comes with a set of tips to follow while finalizing your document. Your agent(s) and financial institutions should get a copy of your final document.

  • Does a Durable Power of Attorney need to be notarized, witnessed, and/or recorded?

    The rules and restrictions will vary in each state; however, it is a best practice to have your Power of Attorney signed by at least one witness and/or acknowledged by a notary public in order to help reinforce its authenticity. If your agent will handle real estate transactions, the Power of Attorney must be notarized and recorded with the county. As a general principle, witnesses will need to not be under 18 years old, and none should simultaneously be named as your Power of Attorney agent.

  • Does this Durable POA include medical decisions?

    This document is used for managing your finances, not your medical decisions or end-of-life wishes. Usually, you are going to appoint someone else to make your medical decisions while you are incapacitated. In many cases, the person that can best manage your finances may not be the person you want making medical choices for you. You can appoint someone to make medical decisions for you using:

    • Healthcare Power of Attorney: Use this form to appoint someone to make medical choices for you when you're ill or in treatment.
    • Mental Health Power of Attorney: This type of POA is to assign someone to make your medical and mental health choices for you should you not have the mental capacity to do so.
    • Advance Directive: This document appoints someone to carry out your end-of-life wishes. A Living Will can also fulfill this need for you.

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