Power of Attorney Template
A POA, also known as a power of attorney, is a notarized document that gives someone else, usually called an agent or attorney-in-fact, the power to represent another person for financial matters and make medical decisions. Typically, a POA is used when people get older, especially if they are not as mentally competent as they once were or when they have a severe medical ailment in which they may be rendered incapacitated. However, there are other reasons why a power of attorney is necessary, and free printable forms can actually be very beneficial to more than just senior citizens.
When a Power of Attorney Form is Necessary
A power of attorney template is considered practical if the principal is mentally or physically incapable of dealing with their matters. Without this document, there can be difficulties and disputes in a family. Mainly the state may settle on who is the right choice to take the responsibility. However, the agent cannot write a will or make medical decisions instead of the principal. The principal can only complete the form by writing the responses in the space given or ticking boxes.
A power of attorney form would not benefit just the elderly but anyone who might need someone else to represent them.
Serving in the military
An excellent example of who would need a power of attorney would be people who serve in the military. Men and women who join the military are doing so to serve their country, including going overseas for long periods.
A soldier going to a foreign country for months will need to have someone back in the United States to take care of their affairs. Someone will need to do things on behalf of that soldier, such as pay bills for them, and free printable power of attorney templates would be beneficial here.
With a power of attorney, that soldier does not have to worry about taking care of their personal affairs and can concentrate instead on doing their duty for the military they serve and the country they protect.
Another person that might benefit from a POA is someone who has to work in another country. Many jobs take United States citizens to countries worldwide for as long as six months to one year at a time. Being away from home for so long can mean that a person working overseas might lose their apartment or their car. A power of attorney can ensure that no one working in another country will lose their home and that all their affairs are taken care of in their absence.
My husband and I have also talked about growing old together and the dire possibility of us falling ill. It might sound quite morbid, but we both feel that it is not wrong to prepare for such circumstances. Although the advances in modern technology have given rise to many new modalities of treatment, we both believe that there is a limit to what science can do. We agreed that we do not want the experience to be too difficult, both for the one on the hospital bed and the one by the bedside. We each executed a power of attorney with instructions that the other be given the power to decide what kinds of medical treatments to allow or when to release the other from the life support system.
The Benefits of Using a DIY POA Form
When people decide that they want to grant someone a power of attorney, the first thing they tend to do is consult a lawyer. Typically, people do not have a lawyer that they visit regularly, so if they want a power of attorney, they need to find a lawyer, which might take some time because lawyers can be very busy. Sometimes they do not have any time to meet up with potential clients. People do not always have the time to find a lawyer, meet up, and then get the power of attorney form filled out and notarized.
Also, another aspect of going through a lawyer to get a POA is that lawyers charge quite a hefty fee for their time and services. For people who do not have the time or the money to get a lawyer, a free power of attorney will be something they need.
This website offers free power of attorney templates that anyone can fill out and print. What makes free forms the best option is that people can go on the website, find the POA forms, and then print the form out without worrying about the time and effort to find an available lawyer to help them. Lawyers can cost a lot of money, and not everyone has the money to hire a lawyer to handle the POA process.
Designating The Right Person
It would be just tragic to designate the wrong person in a power of attorney, especially if you execute one that involves your finances. There were many instances when agents or attorneys-in-fact designated in POA documents had taken advantage of their elderly principals. Remember that this legal document, as a fiduciary instrument, is based on trust. You have to trust the person and believe that they can perform the functions named in your Power of Attorney before you designate them as your agent.
The right person to designate in a power of attorney template is someone you trust to perform the duties and responsibilities you are designating them for. The point of executing this legal document is so that tasks, transactions, and duties would be completed as necessary even if you are not around or are not physically able to handle them yourself. If someone does not understand or cannot do these duties for you, find some other trusted person who is competent and who you can rely on to look out for your best interest.
You would, of course, have to talk to the person you are designating to make sure that they are amenable to the arrangement. They would have to agree to take on the responsibilities you are extending to them through the power of attorney template. Designating an unwilling person in a power of attorney would be counterproductive. Discuss the provisions of your POA document with your potential attorney-in-fact so that they are clear about what is expected of them. In cases where there are more than one attorneys-in-fact, the scope of responsibilities for each designation is often detailed in the document as well.
There are different ways by which you can safeguard your personal and business affairs with a power of attorney. With this document, you delegate some aspects of decision-making to another person capable of making such decisions. In most cases, the person you designate is a close relative or, in the realm of business, somebody in the know of the concerned affairs. In my own set of Powers of Attorney, I have designated different people for specific areas of my personal and business affairs.
I have a standing power of attorney for my husband to take care of any necessary financial transactions involving the family funds, even in my absence. While we do have joint accounts and properties that we can both make decisions on, some transactions require both of us to be present and sign any legal documents. In case I am not around, he can use the power of attorney that I executed earlier. I also placed the disposition of family properties on his shoulders with a separate Power of Attorney. Both legal documents have been checked by our family lawyer, notarized, and registered in the state records.
Signing the Document
The principal signs the document after the formalities have been done in the presence of one or two witnesses (varies from state to state).
Any person of legal age can witness the signing. Even so, if the form is required to be registered and recorded under a department or an organization, then a justice of the peace, a lawyer, or a commissioner should be acting as the witness. In most states, a power of attorney (especially the durable one) must also be notarized to be valid.
The Possibility to End the Agent’s Authority
In relation to options, you should never forget that the grantor may choose to cancel a power of attorney at any time. However, it should be pointed out that terminating (or revoking) the validity of such a legal document is not a straightforward endeavor. Specifically, it would be imperative to come up with a revocation form: a letter addressed to legal authorities that serves as a means to withdraw a power of attorney granted formally. If ever you need to cancel a power of attorney, you should seek legal advice since complex procedures entail such a process.
To reiterate, a power of attorney does not always remain effective, as there are events that have the potential to put an end to its validity. As also discussed, when writing such a document, the granter can specify several representatives. Of course, those who opted to have someone act on their behalf may choose to revoke any power that they have given. At this point, you might be wondering why it is important to become aware of these facts. Simply put, gaining knowledge about the various possibilities that a power of attorney represents is the only way to make proper decisions.
The POA form is a sensitive document; it still solves many problems if the principal cannot conduct their business. So the only precaution needed is that the principal chooses the agent with care. If you are now wondering where to get free power of attorney templates, please browse our website for the relevant links to downloadable and fillable forms.