The Power of Attorney document template is included when you purchase an Estate Plan. This document is how you appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. 

What is a 'Power of Attorney'?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants an individual, known as an Agent or “Attorney-in-Fact”, the authority to make decisions and take actions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so due to medical or other reasons. This can include managing your financial affairs, operating your business, and ensuring your personal bills are paid. Without a POA, your loved ones might face costly and lengthy court proceedings to handle these matters during already difficult times.

There are generally two types of Powers of Attorney: 

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney names agents to make healthcare and medical decisions on your behalf. In some states, the medical power of attorney may be a part of a living will or health care directive. This is covered in more detail here: Understanding 'Living Will' and 'Advance Healthcare Directive'

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney names Agents to handle financial and business decisions on your behalf. Financial powers of attorney may be broad and apply to nearly any non-medical decision. This type of POA is covered in more detail in the rest of this article.

Why do I need a Power of Attorney?

  • Prevents Court Proceedings: A POA helps avoid the need for court intervention, saving time and money.
  • Ensures Continuity: It allows your affairs to be managed according to your wishes, even in your absence or incapacity.
  • Part of Basic Estate Planning: Accidents and illnesses can occur unexpectedly, making a POA a vital element of any estate plan to protect yourself and your family.

Choosing Your Power of Attorney Agent

The choice of Agent is crucial, as they will have significant power to act on your behalf. Trust is paramount. It's advisable to select someone reliable and capable, such as a family member, close friend, or business partner, depending on the responsibilities they may need to undertake.

Considering the scope of tasks, from personal finances to business operations, choosing an agent with the right skill set and integrity is essential.

What Your Agent Can Do

  • Scope of Authority: You decide whether the Agent's authority is broad or limited to specific tasks.
  • Timing of Powers: You can specify whether the Agent's powers take effect immediately or only under certain conditions, such as if you become incapacitated.
  • Expiration of Powers: You have the option to set an expiration date for the POA or determine it based on certain events.

Creating or Updating Power of Attorney With Trust & Will

Updating an Existing Power of Attorney

While you cannot modify an existing POA document directly through Trust & Will, creating a new POA can effectively replace an old one, depending on the terms set forth in the original document. For legal compliance and to ensure clarity, we provide a state-specific POA template with each Estate Plan, which must be completed by hand. Revoking an existing POA before activating a new one is a safe practice to ensure only the most recent POA is recognized.

Can I fill out my Power of Attorney online?

No, per state legal requirements, your Power of Attorney will need to be completed by hand, not filled in online. Once you purchase your Estate Plan, you can either download the template from your account or request to have it shipped. 

Once you have the blank physical copy of the Power of Attorney template in hand, you'll complete the document as directed within the instructions on each page. This mostly consists of initials, signatures, and contact information depending on your state. 

Can I edit the Power of Attorney template?

No, you cannot directly edit the content of the template we provide via the platform.

Is the Trust & Will template for a 'durable' POA?

Yes, the template we provide is for a durable Power of Attorney.

How do I create a 'Power of Attorney' document?

  1. When you purchase an Estate Plan, we provide a state-specific POA template.
  2. Download and print the template or request to have it shipped along with the rest of your documents. 
  3. Fill out each section of the document by hand using the instructions on each page.
  4. Get witness signatures and notarize the document. 
  5. Keep it in a safe place with your other Estate Plan documents.

How to Access Your 'Power of Attorney' Document

You can view, download, or print your Power of Attorney directly from the Estate Plan tab:

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