Sunday, February 19, 2012

Selecting the Most Appropriate Power of Attorney Template

Using a power of attorney template is a simple method for creating legal documents that authorize an agent to take care of financial or healthcare transactions on your behalf. There are four primary kinds of POA forms that include: limited, durable, general, and medical.

Each type of power of attorney template contains specific legalese to ensure the document is legally binding. Regardless of the kind of form used, every POA includes two parties which include a Principal and Agent.

Principal refers to the individual that is creating the document. Agent refers to the person charged with carrying out transactions on the Principal's behalf. Some forms refer to agents as the Attorney-in-Fact, which essentially means the person is legally allowed to sign documents and perform tasks described in the document.

Principals can choose anyone they desire to act as their agent. While the only requirement is that agents are of legal age, it's vital to select someone that is trustworthy and dependable. The most common choices are spouses, relatives, friends, and business partners. However, agents can also be lawyers, physicians, accountants, or realtors.

Once power of attorney forms are created they have to be signed by two witnesses in front of a notary public. After witnessing signatures notaries sign the form and attach their stamp. If legal problems arise, notaries and witnesses might have to appear in court to testify.

Agents can only conduct transactions outlined in the POA. When durable or general power of attorney templates are used, agents are provided with broad powers that allow them to conduct nearly any kind of transaction the Principal would perform.

Setting up power of attorney privileges is common with estate planning methods. These forms are particularly beneficial to people that have bills to pay, or own realty, financial investments, or businesses. Arranging these documents ensures that financial matters can be taken care of in the Principal's absence.

Limited power of attorney is used when agents only need to perform a few tasks. This form is frequently used to authorize agents to pay bills using the Principal's checking account or credit cards. It's also used when a person needs to hire a mediator to negotiate with government agencies such as Social Security Disability or the Internal Revenue Service.

General and durable power of attorney grants sweeping powers that let agents take care of multiple tasks. These forms are often used by business owners to designate agents to take over business operations. They are also used by people who need someone to take care of daily activities like monitoring financial investments, handling business affairs, or selling titled property such as real estate.

Medical power of attorney is used to authorize an agent to make healthcare decisions if the Principal is declared incompetent. Agents are not allowed to make any medical decisions until the Principal's physician has filed a written declaration of incompetency.

Medical POA is also used to grant permission to caregivers to acquire emergency care for minor children. This form is required by daycare providers and nannies. Since children under 18 years of age cannot make medical decisions, this form is crucial for receiving emergency care if parents are unavailable.

The only way agents can perform transactions that necessitate legal permission is by setting the proper type of power of attorney template.

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