How to Make a Power of Attorney

Creating a Power of Attorney can be a very simple process. If you follow the steps below, you should find it quite easy to prepare your own Power of Attorney.

Step 1:        
The first step is to decide on the Power of Attorney that you want to make. There are two main types of Power of Attorney – general and limited. A general Power of Attorney gives your agent full power over your legal, financial and property affairs. A specific or limited Power of Attorney gives your agent limited powers to deal with specific matters set out in your Power of Attorney document.

Both general and limited Powers of Attorney can be stated to be ordinary (non-durable) or durable. An ordinary Power of Attorney is one that automatically comes to an end if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. It can also come to an end on a specific date. A durable Power of Attorney, on the other hand, is not terminated if you become incapacitated. In fact, in many cases it only commences when you become incapacitated.

You will need to decide what type of Power of Attorney you need to make.

Step 2:        
The next step is to get your hands on a Power of Attorney form to complete. There are a number of ways you can do this. You can buy a Power of Attorney form online, make a Power of Attorney online or buy a Power of Attorney kit. Remember to choose a reputable vendor with estate planning expertise.

Step 3:
The next step is to select the person you want to act as your agent. This should be someone that you trust implicitly as they will be able to act on your behalf and bind you legally.

Step 4:        
Set out any limitations that will apply to your agent’s powers.

Step 5:        
You should arrange to meet a notary and to sign the Power of Attorney in his or her presence. You should also have two people (other than the notary) attend with you so they can witness your signing of the document. The requirements for witnesses and notarization will vary from state to state.

For more information on Powers of Attorney, see the other articles on this website.



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