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A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that gives a trusted person or entity the authority to handle your finances and legal matters, such as signing contracts, selling property, accessing... Read more

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Making a Power of Attorney

  • What is a Power of Attorney (PoA)?

    A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that gives a trusted person or entity the authority to handle your finances and legal matters, such as signing contracts, selling property, accessing bank accounts.

    The individual giving control is called the "principal," and the individuals or organizations obtaining powers are known as the "agents." Designed for residents of all states, PoA forms from Rocket Lawyer can be completely customized for your unique circumstances. Creating this document will provide confirmation to financial institutions and other parties that your chosen agent(s) can legally act in your interest when you are not present or able.

  • How do I get a Power of Attorney?

    It's simple to give or get the authority you need using a free Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make your PoA - Answer a few simple questions and we'll do the rest
    2. Send or share - Review it with your agent(s) or ask a lawyer
    3. Sign and make it legal - Required or not, witnesses and notarization are encouraged

    This method is, in many cases, notably more affordable and convenient than meeting and hiring the average lawyer. If needed, you can fill out a PoA on behalf of your spouse or another family member, and then help them sign it when ready. Please keep in mind that for a PoA form to be legally valid, the principal must be an adult who is mentally competent when they sign. In the event that the principal is already incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, a court-appointed conservatorship could be required. When managing this scenario, it would be best to talk to a lawyer.

  • Do I need to have a PoA?

    Anyone who is over 18 ought to have a Power of Attorney. Though it's painful to acknowledge, a time might come when you can no longer handle your affairs on your own. There will also be times when you're simply not available. Here are a few common situations in which a PoA can be useful:

    • You are planning to move out of your home and into an adult care facility
    • You have plans to travel or move abroad temporarily or permanently
    • You would like to authorize someone to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated or not present
    • You are getting older or dealing with limited mobility or ongoing health issues

    Whether this Power of Attorney has been produced as a result of an emergency or as part of a long-term plan, witnesses and/or notarization are strongly recommended for protecting your agent if a third party disputes their privileges and authority.

  • What are the main types of Power of Attorney?

    There are multiple ways to classify Power of Attorney documents. They are primarily dependent on what powers will be granted, when they come into effect, and how long they are valid. Often, you'll see them separated into the four groups below:

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

    When making your free Power of Attorney with Rocket Lawyer, you may decide to have the authority begin upon signing, on a selected day, or only when you're no longer capable. Your Power of Attorney can terminate either upon your death or on a specific date.

  • What can a Power of Attorney not do?

    Typically, a Power of Attorney cannot grant the agent the ability to:

    • Change the principal's will
    • Change or transfer Power of Attorney to another person
    • Break their fiduciary duty to act in the principal's best interest
    • Make decisions on behalf of the principal following their death, with a few exceptions. Ask a lawyer if you would like to know more about these exceptions
  • Do I need to hire an attorney for my PoA?

    PoA forms are typically easy to make; however, you or your agent might still have legal questions. Finding a lawyer to provide feedback on your Power of Attorney might be costly. An easier route would be to go through Rocket Lawyer attorney services. With a Premium membership, you can get your documents reviewed or send any questions. As always, you can rest assured that Rocket Lawyer is here to help.

  • How much does it cost to get a Power of Attorney?

    The cost of working with a lawyer to generate a Power of Attorney can total anywhere between $200 and $500. When you use Rocket Lawyer, you are not just filling out a Power of Attorney template. In case you ever need assistance from a lawyer, your Rocket Lawyer membership provides up to 40% in savings when you hire an attorney from our On Call network.

  • Would I have to take additional actions after creating a Power of Attorney?

    Each Power of Attorney comes with its own series of tips for what is next after your document is finished. As a Rocket Lawyer member, you will be able to make edits, print it out, or sign it. Finally, you should provide a copy of your signed document to your agent(s), financial institutions, and other impacted parties.

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

    The specifications and restrictions governing PoA forms will be different in each state; however, it is a best practice to have your Power of Attorney signed by at least one witness and/or notarized in order to reinforce its validity. If your agent(s) will engage in real estate transactions, the Power of Attorney will need to be signed by a notary and recorded or filed with the county. As a basic principle, witnesses should be at least 18 years old, and no witness should simultaneously be acting as your agent.

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