Power of Attorney Help Guide

Completing Your Document

In LegalNature’s power of attorney, you, the "principal," will specify what powers your "agent" (a.k.a. your attorney-in-fact) has. You can give your agent decision-making authority over almost any of your affairs, and our power of attorney form gives you complete flexibility in tailoring the document to your specific needs.

Note, however, that some powers cannot legally be delegated to your agent, including the powers to make, amend, or revoke your will; to change insurance beneficiaries; and to vote in a public election.

A general power of attorney terminates when you die or become incapacitated. However, a durable power of attorney allows your agent to act for you even when you become incapacitated. "Incapacitated" means that you are no longer able to understand and evaluate information in order to make competent decisions regarding your affairs, usually due to physical or mental impairment. A durable power of attorney continues until you die or revoke your agent's powers.

Choosing Your Agent

An agent can be a friend, family member, business partner, or anyone else you trust. Your agent will also be entitled to receive reasonable compensation for the work they perform, unless you specify otherwise.

Executing Your Document

To make your power of attorney legally binding, you need to sign the document in the presence of the appropriate witnesses. Check your state's witnessing requirements. As financial institutions and other entities often require it to be notarized, we recommend that you use a notary even if your state does not require it. Make sure any witnesses you use are not appointed as agents in the instrument, related to the principal by blood, or beneficiaries of the principal's.

You do not have to record a power of attorney to make it legally binding. However, if you are giving your agent the power to handle real estate transactions for you, and it is likely your agent will use this power on your behalf in the future, it is best to go ahead and record the document for a small fee (usually $20–$30).

Remember, you can amend or revoke your power of attorney at any time after it goes into effect.

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