Power of Attorney Forms By State

Taking care of your affairs, even when you cannot do it, is easy with our Power of Attorney forms. Why wait until the need arises for someone else to act in your place? You can appoint a trusted person to be your agent for financial, health, property or other matters when you cannot take care of things due to absence, illness, incompetence or incapacitation. Create a power of attorney today and save time, money and the other burdens that can arise later.

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Sample Durable Power of Attorney. You must use the form for your State. For Illustration Purposes Only.

GENERAL DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY

THE POWERS YOU GRANT BELOW ARE EFFECTIVE

EVEN IF YOU BECOME DISABLED OR INCOMPETENT



CAUTION: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENT. IT GIVES THE PERSON WHOM YOU DESIGNATE (YOUR "AGENT") BROAD POWERS TO HANDLE YOUR PROPERTY DURING YOUR LIFETIME, WHICH MAY INCLUDE POWERS TO MORTGAGE, SELL, OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF ANY REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY WITHOUT ADVANCE NOTICE TO YOU OR APPROVAL BY YOU. THESE POWERS WILL EXIST EVEN IF YOU BECOME DISABLED OR INCOMPETENT. THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANYONE TO MAKE MEDICAL OR OTHER HEALTH CARE DECISIONS FOR YOU. YOU MAY EXECUTE A SEPARATE DOCUMENT FOR THAT PURPOSE. IF THERE IS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS FORM THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, YOU SHOULD ASK A LAWYER TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU.

KNOWN BY ALL PERSONS PRESENT, THAT:

I, _____________________________________ (complete Name of Principal), whose address is ______________________________________________________ (Street Address, City, State, Zip Code) "Principal", execute this General Durable Power of Attorney and do hereby make, constitute and appoint: ________________________________________ (Full Name of Agent), whose address is ________________________________________________ (Street Address, City, State, Zip Code) "Agent" or "Attorney-in Fact", as my attorney in fact TO ACT IN MY NAME, PLACE AND STEAD in any way which I myself could do as if I were personally present and to and to the extent that I am permitted by law to act through an agent, pursuant to the following provisions:

1. EFFECTIVENESS OF POWER OF ATTORNEY: This instrument is to be construed and interpreted as a general durable power of attorney effective immediately. This power of attorney shall not be affected by disability, incompetency, or incapacity of the Principal.

2. GRANT OF POWERS: I grant to my Agent full power and authorization to do everything necessary in exercising any of the powers herein granted by this power of attorney as fully as I might or could do if personally present. My agent shall have full power of substitution or revocation. I hereby ratify and confirm all that my Agent lawfully does or causes to be done by virtue of this power of attorney and the powers herein granted. My Agent shall have the power to exercise or perform any act, power, duty, right or obligation whatsoever that I now have or may hereinafter acquire, relating to any person, matter, transaction or property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, now owned or hereafter acquired by me, including, without limitation, the following specifically enumerated powers:

(a) Powers of Collection and Payment:

(1) To forgive, request, demand, sue for, recover, collect, receive and hold all sums of money, accounts, annuities, bequests, bonds, certificates of deposit, checks, commercial paper, debts, deposits, devises, dividends, drafts, dues, insurance, interests, legacies, notes, pension, profit sharing, retirement, social security, stock certificates and other contractual benefits and proceeds, all documents of title, all property, real or personal, intangible or tangible, and property rights and demands whatsoever, liquidated or unliquidated, now or hereafter owned by, or due, owing, payable or belonging to, me or in which I have or may hereafter acquire an interest.

(2) To have, use, and take all lawful means and equitable and legal remedies and proceedings in my name for the collection and recovery thereof, and to adjust, sell, compromise, and agree for the same, and to execute and deliver for me, on my behalf, and in my name, all endorsements, releases receipts, or other sufficient discharges for the same.

(b) Property Matters:

(1) To acquire, purchase, exchange and sell, or grant options to sell, mortgage, pledge, lease, sell and convey real or personal property, tangible or intangible, or interests therein, on such terms and conditions as my Agent shall deem proper, with full authority to sign, endorse, execute and deliver any sales agreement, deed, bill of sale and all other instruments or documents pertaining to the sale of any of my real or personal property; and to enter into bonds, contracts, mortgages and deeds connected therewith.

(2) To sell, assign, transfer, convey, exchange, deed, mortgage, pledge, lease, let, license, demise, remise, quitclaim, bargain or otherwise dispose of any or all of my real estate, stocks, bonds, evidences of indebtedness and other securities and other personal tangible and intangible or mixed property, or any custody, possession, interest or right therein at public or private sale, upon such terms, consideration, and conditions as my said attorney shall deem advisable and to execute, acknowledge and deliver such instruments and writings of whatsoever kind and nature as may be necessary, convenient or proper in the premises.

(c) Management Powers: To maintain, repair, improve, invest, manage, insure, rent, lease, encumber, and in any manner deal with any real or personal property, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein that I now own or may hereafter acquire in my name and for my benefit, upon such terms and conditions as my Agent shall deem proper;

(d) Banking Powers: To make, receive and endorse checks and drafts, deposit and withdraw funds, acquire and redeem certificates of deposit, in banks, savings and loan associations, and other institutions, execute or release such deeds of trust or other security agreements as may be necessary or proper in the exercise of the rights and powers herein granted;

(e) Business Interests: To conduct or participate in any lawful business of whatever nature for me and in my name; to execute partnership agreements and amendments thereto; to incorporate, reorganize, merge, consolidate, recapitalize, sell, liquidate or dissolve any business; to elect or employ officers, directors and agents; to carry out the provisions of any agreement for the sale of any business interest or the stock therein; and to exercise voting rights with respect to stock, either in person or by proxy, and to exercise stock options;

(f) Safe Deposit Boxes: To have access at any time or times to any safe deposit box rented by me, wheresoever located, and to remove all or part of the contents thereof, and to surrender or relinquish said safe deposit box, and any institution in which any such safe deposit box may be located shall not incur any liability to me or my estate as a result of permitting my Agent to exercise this power;

(g) Power to Hold Property and Make Investments: The power to hold or acquire any property, real or personal, or securities, regardless of whether such property or securities are a so-called "Legal" investment, where such course is, in the said Agent's opinion, for my best interest;

(h) Power to Borrow: To borrow any sum or sums of money on such terms (including the power to borrow against the cash surrender value of any life insurance policy issued on my life), and with such security, whether real or personal property, as my Agent may think fit, and for that purpose to execute all promissory notes, bonds, mortgages, deeds of trust, security agreements, and other instruments which may be necessary or proper;

(i) Disclaimer: To exercise or release powers of appointment in whole or in part and to disclaim or renounce in whole or in part any interest that I might otherwise have as a joint owner, beneficiary, heir or otherwise and in exercising such discretion, my Agent may take into account such matters as shall include but shall not be limited to any reduction in estate or inheritance taxes on my estate, and the effect of such renunciation or disclaimer upon persons interested in my estate and persons who would receive the renounced or disclaimed property;

(j) Trusts: To transfer, assign and convey any property or interest in property, the legal or equitable title to which is in my name, to any trust of which I am the primary beneficiary during my lifetime and under the terms of which I expressly have the power to amend or revoke such trust, and to exercise any right of withdrawal of income and/or principal which I may have pursuant to the terms and conditions of such trust, whether such trust was created before or after the execution of this power of attorney;

(k) Power to Change Beneficiaries on Any Insurance Policies on my Life: To change the beneficiaries on any insurance policies on my life; provided, however, that neither such right and power, nor any other rights and powers, shall be exercisable with respect to any policies of life insurance which may at any time be owned by me on the life of my Agent herein named.

(l) Executing Government Vouchers. To execute vouchers in my behalf for any and all allowances, compensation and reimbursements properly payable to me by the Government of the United States or any agency or department thereof.

(m) Depositing Money and Other Property. To deposit in my attorney's or my name, or jointly in both our names, in any banking institution, funds or property, and to withdraw any part or all of my deposits at any time made by me in my behalf.

(n) Recovering Possession of Property. To eject, remove or relieve tenants or other persons from, and recover possession of, any property, real, personal or mixed in which I now or hereafter may have an interest.

(o) Litigation. To institute, maintain, defend, compromise, arbitrate or otherwise dispose of, any and all actions, suits, attachments or other legal proceedings for or against me.

(p) Tax Returns. To prepare and execute any tax returns, including, but not limited to, Federal income tax returns, State income tax returns, Social Security tax returns, and Federal and State information and estimated returns; to execute any claims for refund, protests, applications for abatement, petitions to the United States Board of Tax Appeals or any other Board or Court, Federal or State, consents and waivers to determination and assessment of taxes and consents and waivers agreeing to a later determination and assessment of taxes than is provided by statute of limitations; to receive and endorse and collect any checks in settlement of any refund of taxes; to examine and to request and receive copies of any tax returns, reports and other information from the United States Treasury Department or any other taxing authority, Federal or State, in connection with any of the foregoing matters.

(q) Automobiles. To execute and deliver to the proper persons and authority any and all documents, instruments and papers necessary to effect proper registration of any automobile in which I now or may hereafter have an interest, or the sale thereof and transfer of legal title thereto as required by law, and to collect and receipt for all monies paid in consideration of such sale and transfer.

3. MISCELLANEOUS: I grant to the Agent named herein the following additional powers of authority:

(a) In the event any agent named herein should be of the opinion at any time that she or he does not have the expertise to manage all or any part of my assets, I grant to said Agent the right and power to delegate the management powers hereinabove granted over all or any part of my assets to any person(s) or firm(s), and to enter into any management or agency agreements with said person(s) or firm(s), pertaining thereto, with the right on the part of the Agent named herein to revoke and cancel any such agreement at any time upon ninety (90) days' written notice to said person(s) or firm(s).

(b) I grant full and absolute authority to the Agent named herein, on a noncumulative, yearly basis, to make gifts to my children, in trust or otherwise, as well as to their spouses, and to their children, in trust or otherwise, with the amount of gifts to each such person each year not to exceed that amount which is excludable from the total amount of gifts made during such year under Section 2503(b) Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time.

(c) I further authorize and empower the Agent named herein to use and apply so much of the income and principal of the assets comprising my estate as may be necessary or desirable, in the sole discretion of said Agent, for my maintenance and support. Any provision herein to the contrary notwithstanding, the Agent shall have no power or authority to use or apply the principal to discharge any legal obligation that the agent or any other person may have to support me or any dependent or beneficiary or mine, except to the extent that there are no assets reasonably available to the person having the obligation of support to pay the same.

(d) I further authorize and empower my Agent to engage, employ and dismiss any agents, clerks, servants, attorneys-at-law, accountants, investment advisors, custodians, or other persons in and about the performance of these presents as my Agent shall think fit.

Any decisions made by the said Agent with respect to the matters set forth hereinabove in sections 3(b), 3(c), and 3(d) shall be final, binding and conclusive upon all of the beneficiaries of my estate, and said Agent shall be released and discharged of and from all liability for any such decisions that she or he may make in good faith with respect thereto.

Remainder of Form Omitted.

How to Get a Power of Attorney Form That Fits Your Needs

How prepared are you to deal with an unexpected accident or illness? A power of attorney (POA) is a vital estate planning document to have for many reasons. No one expects the unexpected to occur. Being prepared for an unfortunate event like an illness or accident by filling out a power of attorney sample can save unnecessary hardship and expenses for your loved ones in an already stressful situation. It can allow your bills to be paid, contracts to be signed, joint accounts to be accessed, and business affairs to continue without interruption. If you become incapacitated and don't have an appointed agent, then court involvement will be required. Court proceedings to appoint a guardian cost thousands of dollars. A power of attorney may also simply allow you to delegate tasks to others when it's more convenient or appropriate to do so.

More

You should first have a basic understanding of a power of attorney to make sure you select the proper type. As the creator of the document, you are called the principal or grantor. A power of attorney allows another person, called the attorney-in-fact, personal representative, or agent, to act on your behalf when you are unable to attend to the matter yourself. Some examples of when a power of attorney may be needed include:

  • Being out of town
  • Accident requiring hospitalization
  • Illness
  • Mental incapacity, such as dementia
  • Incarceration
  • Military Service
  • Needing assistance from someone with expertise in the subject matter

Types of Power of Attorney Forms

A power of attorney can be general or limited, durable or nondurable, and can be effective for a limited time or take effect at a time or specified event in the future. We offer a wide variety of state-specific blank power of attorney forms to meet any need. Some of the more popular types include:

Durable power of attorney - What is a durable power of attorney used for? It can be used in many different types of situations. The main thing to understand is the difference between a nondurable and durable power of attorney. Unlike a nondurable document, a durable POA remains effective despite the principal's incapacity. If you don't state that you wish the document to remain effective despite your incapacity, it will lapse if you become incapacitated or mentally incompetent in the future. However, the death of the principal will always void the document, regardless of which type you choose.

Limited power of attorney - In contrast with a form for general power of attorney, a limited power of attorney form grants the agent authority only in the matters specified. They are also referred to as special power of attorney forms. For example, they may be used for:

  • A stock transfer
  • Selling or buying a house, or other real estate transaction
  • Buying or selling a vehicle
  • Handling banking matters, such as depositing and writing checks

Medical power of attorney - Medical power of attorney forms are also called advance health directives or health care power of attorney forms. A medical POA is often combined with a living will. They are a category of limited power of attorney forms that allows the agent to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to speak for yourself. If you are unconscious, your agent can communicate your medical treatment and life support preferences to your doctors. It is essential for everyone to have a medical power of attorney, since none of us are immune to illness or accidents.

Choosing an Agent

The agent should be a trusted individual, such as a spouse, relative, or trusted friend. Especially in the case of a general power of attorney, which grants broad powers to the agent, it's important to be able to trust the agent not to misuse the authority granted. A successor agent may also be named in case the named agent dies or otherwise in unable to serve. The attorney-in-fact should be given a copy of the POA, and is also required to sign it in some states.

Completing Online Power of Attorney Forms

The principal must fill in the blank power of attorney form while mentally competent to understand the nature of the document. State laws vary on the requirements for witnessing or notarizing blank power of attorney forms. If real estate is involved, it will typically need to be notarized.

Many online power of attorney forms use your state's name in the title, but are actually generic and not drafted according to the current state laws. US Legalforms offers state-specific forms that are regularly updated by attorneys to comply with the law in your state.

Changing or Voiding a Power of Attorney

There are various ways a power of attorney can be voided, such as:

  • Destroying the document and sending a notice to the agent
  • The death or incapacity of the principal
  • The agent's death or incapacity
  • Divorce from the agent (in some states)

Blank power of attorney forms are affordable and easy to fill out. Therefore, it's recommended to create a new power of attorney rather than make handwritten changes to an existing one. It's possible to name successor agents in case an agent becomes unavailable. However, if you need to create a new power of attorney to name a new agent, you should send the current agent a written notice that the former POA was voided.

Conclusion

Don't wait until it's too late to create a power of attorney. Too often, the issue doesn't arise until the person is too incapacitated or incompetent to create one. Completing a power of attorney form online only takes minutes and can spare your loved ones unnecessary burdens in an already difficult situation. If you've neglected this important aspect of your legal life, we offer the state-specific, top quality forms you need at an affordable price.

How Should Documents be Signed as the Agent Using a Power of Attorney?

Q: I was appointed the agent for my brother with a power of attorney but I'm not sure how to sign his papers.

A: You must let those you are dealing with know that you are acting in the capacity as agent for the principal by writing or printing the principal's name and by indicating "agent" next to your name in one of the following ways: (Name of Principal) by (Your Signature) as Agent, or (your signature) as Agent for (Name of Principal).

What is a Durable Power of Attorney vs. a Non-Durable Power of Attorney?

Q: Why would I need a durable power of attorney form instead of a non-durable one?

A: A durable power of attorney stays in effect despite your incapacity, so that your representative may still act in your behalf even after you are mentally incompetent to manage your own affairs. Therefore, the agent should be a very trusted individual.

By making a durable general power of attorney, you can avoid having to go to court to create a guardianship if you ever need someone to handle your affairs, such as if an accident or disability strikes. A non-durable power of attorney will end when you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself and the agent cannot act for you if you are incapacitated.

Can I Make Health Care Decisions With a Power of Attorney?

Q: I'd like my sister to be able to carry out my wishes for life support and make medical treatment decisions for me if something unfortunate happens. Will a power of attorney form work for me?

A: Each state has its own laws regarding allowing others to make medical decisions for you. In one state the documents may be called a health care power of attorney, in another state it may be called something else, such as an advance health care directive, medical power of attorney, etc. Sometimes a living will form contains the option of appointing a health care representative. The forms offered by USLegalforms are state-specific and are regularly updated to comply with current state law.

What Happens When the Principal Dies?

Q: My uncle gave me his power of attorney but recently passed away and now the bank says I can't pay his bills any longer. Is this true?

A: A power of attorney becomes void when the principal dies. Therefore, the executor or administrator of the estate will need to handle the decedent's debts out of the assets in the probate estate.

How Long is a Power of Attorney Effective?

Q: Is it possible for me to appoint an agent but still have the power to take back the authority any time I want to?

A: All powers of attorney may be revoked at any time by the principal while the principal remains mentally competent to make decisions. You have flexibility in he duration of the agent's authority according to the type of document you create:

  • You can create a general durable power of attorney, which can remain effective until you die.
  • A non-durable power of attorney will terminate upon the principal's incapacity, or until the time specified in the document.
  • A springing power of attorney can specify a starting date, such as the happening of an event or condition.
  • A limited power of attorney may only be effective for the time needed for the stated purpose(s) and state a starting and ending date.

Can the Agent Live in Another State?

Q: I live in Colorado, but would like to make my brother who lives in California my agent. Is this a good idea?

A: A living will or medical power of attorney form that complies with the laws of the state of residence should be used. A power of attorney is governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the attorney-in-fact will be carrying out his or her duties. Usually, this is where the principal's property is located. It's typically not recommended to appoint a personal representative who lives out-of-state, unless the property or assets involved are also in the in another state. When the agent's duties will be carried out in more than one state, separate powers of attorney for each jurisdiction are recommended.

Can the Attorney-in-Fact be Sued for the Debts of the Principal?

A: If I agree to be an agent, is it possible for me to be held responsible and have to pay the principal's debts out of my own pocket?

As long as the agent acts within the authority of the power of attorney document in good faith, the agent isn't personally liable for the principal's debts. Only if the representative abuses or oversteps the authority granted, will the agent need to be concerned about personal liability for debts of the principal.

Can More Than One Agent Be Appointed?

Q: Can I name both my sisters to act as my agents in the same financial power of attorney?

A: Yes, it's possible to have co-agents and/or successor agents. The power of attorney may specify that co-agents must act in agreement and require two signatures on documents. The instrument itself should state whether they can act independently of the other. This should be set forth in the instrument itself.

Usually, when co-agents are appointed the authority granted applies to both agents. It is recommended to create two separate limited powers of attorney granting limited powers and assigning those limited to only one agent.

One or two successor agents may also be named to take over as agent in the event the original agent is mentally;incapacitated or otherwise unavailable.

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