How to Sign A Durable Power of Attorney
Power of attorney (POA) is a legal agreement that essentially allows someone else to act on your behalf in legal, financial and sometime medical matters. Durable POA is a power of attorney agreement that continues even if the principal loses his mental competency. Durable POAs are common among the elderly or those with a history of mental illness.
5 Steps to Sign A Durable Power of Attorney
1. Examine the reasons that you think you need a durable POA.
A power of attorney agreement can be broad or limited. For example, if you only need your POA holder to act on your behalf for six months while you are out of the country, you may want to limit the durable POA to a six-month period. On the other hand, you may want your children to act on your behalf in all matters as you grow older. In that case, you will want a very broad POA.
2. Choose a POA holder whom you trust to handle your financial or legal matters with care.
This person should be trustworthy and knowledgeable about the role you are asking him to play. Your POA holder should be mentally sound and over the age of 18.
3. See your lawyer.
Explain your need to assign a durable POA. Be sure to include how broad or limited you would like the durable POA to be. Your lawyer will draw up a power of attorney agreement, which will include a clause stating that the POA will continue even if you lose your mental capacity. This is what makes the POA a durable POA.
4. Have all parties sign the durable POA agreement and have it notarized.
Give the POA holder an original copy because he will have to show it to anyone who needs verification of the durable POA. Keep a copy for yourself in a safe place.
5. Contact any third party that may have an interest in your durable POA, including your bank, your real estate agent and your doctor
It is also advisable for you to inform your closest relatives about the durable POA. Provide all interested parties with a copy of the durable POA agreement for their records.
It is possible to sign a durable POA without the help of a lawyer by using a do-it-yourself form and having it notarized. However, this should only be done in cases of very simple power of attorney agreements. Anything other a general POA should be looked over by a lawyer to ensure that it protects you the way you intended it to.
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