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Power of Attorney is a legal authorization that allows one person to make legal decisions and act for another party. There are many different situations when granting power of attorney to someone you love and trust is in your best interest.

 

There are two types of power of attorney, general and specific. General power of attorney authorizes the other person to act as legal representative in financial matters for an undefined period of time and undefined scope. A specific power limits or restricts the power to a single transaction or type of transactions.

 

There are some execution requirements for a Power of Attorney to be valid.

  1. Be executed by a principal, who is not incapable,
  2. Be in writing.
  3. Contain language that clearly indicates that the principal intends to create a mental health care power of attorney.
  4. Except as provided pursuant to subsection C of this section, be dated and signed or marked by the principal.
  5. Be notarized or witnessed in writing by at least one adult who affirms that the notary or witness was present when the principal dated and signed or marked the mental health care power of attorney and that the principal appeared to be of sound mind and free from duress, fraud or undue influence at that time.
  6. If a mental health care power of attorney expressly provides that the agent can admit the principal to a level one behavioral health facility licensed by the department of health services, each paragraph that grants this authority must be separately initialed by the principal at the time the mental health care power of attorney is signed and witnessed.
  7. If the principal is physically unable to sign or mark a mental health care power of attorney, the notary and each witness shall verify on the document that the principal indicated to the notary or witness that the mental health care power of attorney expressed the principal´s wishes and that the principal intended to adopt the mental health care power of attorney at that time.
  8. A notary or witness shall not be any of the following:
  9. A person designated to make medical decisions on the principal´s behalf.
  10. A professional care provider directly involved with the provision of care to the principal at the time the mental health care power of attorney is executed.
  11. If a mental health care power of attorney is witnessed by only one person, that person shall not be either:
  12. Related to the principal by blood, marriage or adoption.
  13. Entitled to any part of the principal´s estate by will or by operation of law at the time that the power of attorney is executed.
  14. A mental health care power of attorney may be used as part of or independent of a health care power of attorney

Definitions and list of types of Power of Attorney

 

A Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney is an important legal document that allows or authorizes the person you name (your agent or "attorney-in-fact") to perform a particular transaction. The Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney restricts the authority of the Agent to a specific situation, limited time period or type of legal action.

 

The powers you grant in Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney CEASE to be effective should you become disabled or incompetent.

 

Generally a Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney is used for the sale of real or personal property, but it can cover any specific situation or need that may exist.

 

A Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney is valid for the time period you specify, or until you revoke this Power of Attorney.

 

By issuing this Nondurable Limited Power of Attorney you allow another person to do almost all legal actions that you can do yourself. For example  you can grant to your agent:

  • to buy or sell real estate;
  • to make transactions with your tangible property, like household items, boats or cars;
  • to sign your paychecks;
  • to put and move the money from/to your accounts and to make other bank transactions on your behalf;
  • to borrow money at an agreeable interest rate, to add and remove from a bank vault or a deposit box;
  • to make any legal claims;
  • to perform custodial duties for your children, including housing and schooling decisions;
  • to make decisions regarding your children’s emergency care; and
  • to buy, sell, enlarge, reduce, and terminate a business interest.

The Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney must be dated and acknowledged before a notary public. Please note that some financial institutions, like banks, require that the Power of Attorney be recorded.

 

Durable General Power of Attorney

 

The powers you grant in Durable General Power of Attorney continue to be effective should you become disabled or incompetent.

 

Durable General Power of Attorney is an important legal document. It gives the person whom you designate (your "agent", "attorney-in-fact") 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.

 

The other subjects discussed in a general durable Power of Attorney are: stock and bond transactions, commodity and options transactions, banking, estate and trusts, claims and litigation, personal and family maintenance, division of social security and other governmental benefits, retirement plan transactions, tax matters.

 

A Durable General Power of Attorney does not authorize anyone to make medical or other health care decisions.

 

The General Durable Power of Attorney must be dated and acknowledged before a notary public or signed by two witnesses.

 

A Durable Power of Attorney that may affect a real property must be acknowledged before a notary public so it may easily be recorded.

Durable Springing General Power of Attorney (upon disability) is an important legal document.

 

The powers you grant in Durable Springing General Power of Attorney ARE EFFECTIVE ONLY IF YOU BECOME DISABLED OR INCOMPETENT.

This power of attorney does not authorize anyone to make medical or other health care decisions on your behalf.A Springing Durable General Power of Attorney is an alternative to a durable power of attorney.A Springing Durable General Power of Attorney doesn´t become effective until you´re disabled. That means that your agent can start acting as your attorney in fact only after you are determined disabled.

 

Please take a note that before a Springing Durable General Power of Attorney may come into effect there must be a formal determination of disability of a grantor. In other words, if your Springing Power of attorney requires that two designated physicians must agree and put their opinion in writing that the grantor is disabled or incompetent to manage his affairs due to his illness, then only after such an Affidavit is signed and attached to the Power of Attorney, your agent may act as an attorney in fact.

 

Durable Springing General Power of Attorney gives the person whom you designate (your "agent", "attorney-in-fact") broad powers to handle your property, tangible or intangible. Among the subjects discussed in a general durable power of attorney are: real property and personal property transactions, stock and bond transactions, commodity and options transactions, banking, estate and trusts, claims and litigation, personal and family maintenance, division of social security and other governmental benefits, retirement plan transactions, tax matters.

 

The general durable (springing) power of attorney must be dated and acknowledged before a notary public. A durable power of attorney that may affect a real property must be acknowledged before a notary public so it may easily be recorded.

 

The Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney for Child Care

 

The Limited Nondurable Power of Attorney for Child Care is an important legal document. It gives the person whom you designate (your "agent" or "attorney-in-fact") broad powers regarding the minor child(ren).

 

The powers you grant in your Limited Non durable Power of Attorney for Child Care CEASE to be effective should you become disabled or incompetent.

 

The Limited Non-durable Power of Attorney for Child Care is valid for the time period you specify, or until you revoke this Power of Attorney for Child Care.

 

This type of Power of Attorney will authorize the appointed person to perform all legal acts that you could have done yourself as a parent.

 

A Child Care Power of Attorney authorizes the Agent to have temporary custody of an unmarried minor child and to make medical decisions in regard to said child. Parents may travel without their children but want someone else to care for their children and to consent to medical care in the event of an emergency.

 

By using this type of the Power of Attorney you can grant one or more of the following powers:

  • to consent for emergency medical treatment;
  • to authorize all necessary medical treatment, including surgery and hospitalization;
  • to provide for the safety of the child;
  • education, and welfare of the child;
  • enrollment in a school or sport activities;
  • to sign documents in connection with the care and medical treatment;
  • to perform any parental acts regarding discipline and supervision, arbitration of disputes, to act as a guardian for the custody;
  • other powers regarding your child (for example: travel arrangements, picking the child up from school, etc).

The Limited Non-Durable Power of Attorney for Child Care must be dated and acknowledged before a notary public or signed by two witnesses.

 

The Medical Power of Attorney

 

The Medical Power of Attorney is an important legal document. This document gives the person you name as your agent the authority to make any and all health care decisions for you in accordance with your wishes, including your religious and moral beliefs, when you are no longer capable of making them yourself. Because "health care" means any treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat your physical or mental condition, your agent has the power to make a broad range of health care decisions for you. Your agent may consent, refuse to consent, or withdraw consent to medical treatment and may make decisions about withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment. Your agent may not consent to voluntary in-patient mental health services, convulsive treatment, or abortion. A physician must comply with your agent´s instructions or allow you to be transferred to another physician.

Your agent´s authority begins when your doctor certifies that you lack the competence to make health care decisions.

 

Your agent must follow your instructions when making decisions on your behalf. Unless you state otherwise, your agent has the same authority to make decisions about your health care as you would have had.

 

It is important that you discuss this document with your physician or other health care provider before you sign it to make sure that you understand the nature and range of decisions that may be made on your behalf. If you do not have a physician, you should talk with someone else who is knowledgeable about these issues and can answer your questions. You do not need a lawyer´s assistance to complete this document, but if there is anything in this document that you do not understand, you should ask a lawyer to explain it to you.

The person you appoint as agent should be someone you know and trust. The person must be at least 18 years old, or a person under 18 years of age who has had the disabilities of minority removed. If you appoint your health or residential care provider (e.g., your physician or an employee of a home health agency, hospital, nursing home or residential care home, other than a relative), that person has to choose between acting as your agent or as your health or residential care provider; the law does not permit a person to do both at the same time.

 

You should inform the person you appoint that you want the person to be your health care agent. You should discuss this document with your agent and your physician and give each a signed copy. You should indicate on the document itself the people and institutions that have signed copies. Your agent is not liable for health care decisions made in good faith on your behalf.

 

Even after you have signed this document, you have the right to make health care decisions for yourself as long as you are able to do so and treatment cannot be given to you or stopped over your objection. You have the right to revoke the authority granted to your agent by informing your agent or your health or residential care provider orally or in writing or by making a new medical power of attorney. Unless you state otherwise, your appointment of a spouse dissolves on divorce.

 

This document may not be changed or modified. If you want to make changes in the document, you must make an entirely new one.

You may wish to designate an alternate agent in the event that your agent is unwilling, unable, or ineligible to act as your agent. An alternate agent you designate has the same authority to make health care decisions for you.

 

This Power of Attorney is not valid unless it is signed in the presence of two competent adult witnesses.

 

THE FOLLOWING PERSONS MAY NOT ACT AS ONE OF THE WITNESSES:

  1. The person you have designated as your agent;
  2. A person entitled to any part of your estate after your death under a will or codicil executed by you or by operation of law;
  3. Your attending physician;
  4. An employee of your attending physician;
  5. An employee of a health care facility in which you are a patient if the employee is providing direct patient care to you or is an officer, director, partner, or business office employee of the health care facility or of any parent organization of the health care facility; or
  6. A person who, at the time this power of attorney is executed, has a claim against any part of your estate after your death.

 

Revocation of Power of Attorney

 

If you change your mind about whom you want as your agent under a power of attorney (durable or nondurable), limited or specific), you may revoke the power of attorney. In fact, while you are capable, you may revoke a power of attorney at any time for any reason. Simply notify the person you have named to act as your agent (attorney in fact). For your protection, it is best to do this in writing. You also should destroy all copies of the power of attorney and notify in writing any third parties with whom this person might have done business.

 

Where substantial assets are at stake, you may also want to file a legal document called a "Revocation of Power of Attorney" in the public records where you live or own real state, and maybe even in the local newspaper(s) if business interests are at state.