There are many benefits to completing a sample of durable power of attorney form. By appointing a trusted person as your agent, also called the attorney in fact, you can save your family and loved ones the time, expense, and delay of setting up a guardianship to handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. A general power of attorney can assure that your business affairs will continue uninterrupted, bills will be paid timely to avoid foreclosure, and other adverse creditor actions are avoided. The following will examine some of the important things you need to understand about a durable power of attorney.
What a Durable Power of Attorney Is
A power of attorney, or POA, is a document that allows you to appoint another person to act as your agent to handle your affairs, according to the authority specified in the form. A durable power of attorney form contains language stating that your agent's authority will remain effective despite your disability or incapacity. Any type of power of attorney form should state how long the agent's authority remains effective. Some states assume that they're durable unless the forms state otherwise. However, any type may be revoked by its maker and will become void when the maker dies. In order to create or revoke a power of attorney, the creator, also called the grantor or principal, needs to have legal capacity to understand the nature of the document and the authority being granted or revoked. Once a person is physically or mentally incapacitated and no longer capable of knowingly signing a power of attorney template, it is often necessary to go through an expensive and burdensome process to petition the court for guardianship.
State power of attorney laws vary. Whether you need a Texas statutory durable power of attorney form, a durable power of attorney for California, or a durable power of attorney in Florida, US Legal Forms offers state-specific forms that comply with the laws of your state. Many general power of attorney templates offered online are generic and not kept up to date with legislative changes, so beware.
Power of Attorney Terminology
The following terms are important for understanding how to create a power of attorney and what type you need:
- Principal - The principal is the person making the power of attorney. Sometimes also called a grantor.
- Attorney-in-fact - The attorney in fact is the person appointed as the agent to act on the principal's behalf. The attorney in fact should be a trusted individual and will have a fiduciary duty to act in the principal's best interests.
- Financial durable power of attorney form - This POA will give the agent authority to take care of business and banking matters, despite the principal's incapacity. The agent is authorized to handle financial transactions, such as collecting payments and paying creditors. If the principal owns a business, the business operations can be handled without interruption.
- Special power of attorney - Unlike a general power of attorney, a special power of attorney restricts the agent's authority to a specific subject matter. It may also be called a limited power of attorney. A limited power of attorney is often used to sell a car, house, shares of stock, etc.
- Health care power of attorney - A health care power of attorney authorizes the agent to make decisions regarding medical treatment and life support when the principal in unable to express his or her wishes. A sample medical power of attorney is often combined with a living will.
- Statutory power of attorney - A statutory power of attorney sample precisely follows the language of a state statute governing power of attorney forms. For example, a statutory durable power of attorney form Texas legislators wrote will be copied word for word in the power of attorney template.
- Springing power of attorney - This POA takes effect upon a time or event stated in the document.