Power of Attorney

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Who is granting this Power of Attorney?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a power of attorney?A power of attorney is a document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person (the attorney-in-fact) to act for him or her. There are many reasons why you might want to appoint someone else to look after your financial affairs.

For example, if you are going to be out of the country for a lengthy period of time, you might want someone to do your banking while you are gone. If you are approaching old age, you may want to give a power of attorney to a person you trust so that he or she can manage your property for you.
Who is the Principal?The person who gives the authority (power to act) is referred to as a donor, grantor, or principal.
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POWER OF ATTORNEY

THIS Power of Attorney is given by me, ____________________ (the "Principal"), presently of ____________________, ____________________, in the State of ____________________, on this 1st day of September, 2014.

  1. Previous Power of Attorney
  2. I REVOKE any previous power of attorney granted by me.
  3. Attorney-in-fact
  4. I APPOINT __________________, of ____________________, ____________________, ____________________, to act as my Attorney-in-fact.
  5. Governing Law
  6. This document will be governed by the laws of the State of ____________________. Further, my Attorney-in-fact is directed to act in accordance with the laws of the State of ____________________ at any time he or she may be acting on my behalf.
  7. Liability of Attorney-in-fact
  8. My Attorney-in-fact will not be liable to me, my estate, my heirs, successors or assigns for any action taken or not taken under this document, except for willful misconduct or gross negligence.
  9. Powers of Attorney-in-fact
  10. My Attorney-in-fact will have the following power(s):

    Initials

    1. X_____ Specific Power

      _________________________________________________________________

      _________________________________________________________________.

  11. Attorney-in-fact Compensation
  12. My Attorney-in-fact will receive compensation as per the guidelines governing the compensation for agents or trustees or other such legislated rate in the State of ____________________ in addition to reimbursement of all out of pocket expenses associated with the carrying out my wishes. If no guidelines or usual practices exist for the compensation of an attorney-in-fact then my Attorney-in-fact will be entitled to reimbursement for all out of pocket expenses associated with the carrying out of my wishes and may pay himself or herself a reasonable amount based on the size of my estate.
  13. Co-owning of Assets and Mixing of Funds
  14. My Attorney-in-fact may not mix any funds owned by him or her in with my funds and all assets should remain separately owned if at all possible.
  15. Personal Gain from Managing My Affairs
  16. My Attorney-in-fact is not allowed to personally gain from any transaction he or she may complete on my behalf.
  17. Delegation of Authority
  18. My Attorney-in-fact may not delegate any authority granted under this document.
  19. Effective Date
  20. This Power of Attorney will start immediately upon signing. Under no circumstances will the powers granted in this Power of Attorney continue after my mental incapacity or death.
  21. Attorney-in-fact Restrictions
  22. This Power of Attorney is not subject to any conditions or restrictions other than those noted above.
  23. Notice to Third Parties
  24. Any third party who receives a valid copy of this Power of Attorney can rely on and act under it. A third party who relies on the reasonable representations of my Attorney-in-fact as to a matter relating to a power granted by this Power of Attorney will not incur any liability to the Principal or to the Principal's heirs, assigns, or estate as a result of permitting the Attorney-in-fact to exercise the authority granted by this Power of Attorney up to the point of revocation of this Power of Attorney. Revocation of this Power of Attorney will not be effective as to a third party until the third party receives notice and has actual knowledge of the revocation.
  25. Severability
  26. If any part of any provision of this document is ruled invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, such part will be ineffective to the extent of such invalidity only, without in any way affecting the remaining parts of such provisions or the remaining provisions of this document.
  27. Acknowledgment
  28. I, ____________________, being the Principal named in this Power of Attorney hereby acknowledge:
    1. I have read and understand the nature and effect of this Power of Attorney;
    2. I am of legal age in the State of ____________________ to grant a Power of Attorney; and
    3. I am voluntarily giving this Power of Attorney.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I hereunto set my hand and seal at the City of ____________________ in the State of ____________________, this 1st day of September, 2014.


     
   

_____________________________

   

____________________ (Principal)


INSTRUCTIONS FOR EXECUTING YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY

Before signing your Power of Attorney, ensure you have read it and understand your document.

To be valid, you must sign the document with your usual cheque signing signature. You should also initial each page of the document. The signing and the initialing of the pages must occur in the presence of your notary or witness(es). For every power that you have given to your Attorney-in-fact you must write your initials in the space provided. If this is not done it may affect the validity of your document.

After you have signed and initialed your document in front of your notary or witness(es), your notary or witness(es) must sign on the applicable page of the Power of Attorney and should initial each page. This must occur in the presence of you.

Most jurisdictions require that a Power of Attorney be signed before a Notary Public if it is durable or grants power over land or property. Some jurisdictions also require that witnesses be present. Even if they are not required for your state, it is often recommended to have witnesses to make the document more acceptable to those that will have to deal with it. Those jurisdictions that do not require that the Power of Attorney be signed in front of a notary usually require that two witnesses are used. Even if a notary is not required it is still often recommended.

Remember that your witness(es) cannot be your spouse, partner, child, your Attorney-in-fact or alternate Attorney-in-fact or the spouse of your Attorney-in-fact or alternate attorney-in-fact. Some jurisdictions disallow witnesses that are mentioned in your Last Will, either as beneficiary or executor/executrix. You should generally avoid having witnesses that have any financial relationship with you. The witness(es) must be of legal age in your jurisdiction, they must have capacity and be mentally capable of managing their property and making their own decisions.

If your Power of Attorney will be used to transfer real property (land) your Attorney-in-fact will likely need to have the document recorded in order for the Power of Attorney to be recognized. This takes place at the land registry office in the jurisdiction where the real property (land) is located.

Power of Attorney Information

Alternate Names:

A Power of Attorney is also known as:

  • Letter of Attorney
  • POA/P.O.A.
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Legal Power-of-Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney form allows you to appoint another person to act on your behalf should you ever require someone to make short- or long-term decisions for you.

On a Power of Attorney form, the person granting authority to another is the "Principal". The person who is granted authority is called the "Attorney-in-fact" or "Agent".

Powers You Can Grant Your Attorney-in-Fact

A Power of Attorney document allows you to choose what your personal representative, or attorney-in-fact, will be responsible for by designating certain powers to them. The powers that you can grant your attorney-in-fact include:

Real Estate: To buy, sell, rent, or otherwise manage residential, commercial, and personal real estate.

Business: To invest, trade, and manage any and all business transactions and decisions, as well as handle any claim or litigation matters.

Finance: To control banking, tax, and government and retirement transactions, as well as living trust and estate decisions. Financial powers also allows your representative to control personal insurance policies and to continue donating to any charities in your stead.

Family: To purchase gifts, employ professionals, and to buy, sell or trade any of your personal property.

General Authority: This grants your personal attorney the authority to make any decisions that you would be able to if you were personally present.

Why You Should Have a Power of Attorney Form

POAs are often not considered until it is too late. If you don't have a POA and you are deemed unable to make decisions, a family member or friend will need to apply to be your representative in a court of law.

You should consider having a POA if:

  • You travel out of the country often
  • You are employed in a hazardous work environment
  • You have been diagnosed with a serious illness
  • You have business or property that you would want maintained if you were unavailable
  • You have children that would need to be provided for if you were to become incapacitated
  • You want a specific person to be responsible for your affairs
  • You have rules about how you run your business, property, or life, and you want to ensure they are upheld
  • You are approaching old age and would like to designate a representative for yourself

Types of Power of Attorney Forms

General: A general Power of Attorney form allows your representative to manage all of your property-based and financial affairs. This type of POA grants them general authority.

Specific: A specific Power of Attorney form limits your representative's responsibilities to certain types of decisions. You can choose to allow someone to only make decisions in relation to business, for example.

Ordinary: An ordinary Power of Attorney is only valid while you, the principal, are capable of making decisions. This type of POA becomes invalid in the event that you become incapacitated.

Durable: An enduring Power of Attorney is when the contract continues even if you, the principal, become incapacitated.

Choosing an Attorney-in-Fact

To choose an attorney-in-fact, you must consider your options carefully. Aside from your personal preferences, there are also legal requirements for who you select.

Your attorney-in-fact may not:

  • Be under the age of majority in your state
  • Currently be in a state of bankruptcy
  • Be the owner or employee of a care home where the principal resides or receives treatment

You can name more than one attorney-in-fact if you believe that different people will better handle certain decisions or transactions.

You may also name a fiduciary, such as an accountant, lawyer, or other professional as your attorney-in-fact if you wish.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation is when a person loses the capacity to make decisions due to mental or physical circumstances.

This would include the inability to make legal, financial, business, or property decisions because of a mental or physical impairment such as an individual in a coma, someone who has experienced a serious injury, or someone who has an illness that causes mental deterioration.

Revoking a Power of Attorney Form

You can revoke a POA at any time, for any reason, by creating a Revocation of Power of Attorney form and giving a copy to each attorney-in-fact appointed in your POA.

You may also revoke an old POA by writing a new POA and including a statement in your new POA that revokes all previous POAs. In this case you should provide a copy of your new POA to each of your prior attorneys-in-fact.

Any bank, investment house, or land titles office that received a copy of the original POA will also need to receive a copy of the Revocation of Power of Attorney or the new POA form.

You must be of sound mind to revoke your enduring Power of Attorney. If you are no longer of sound mind, a court can remove an agent for acting improperly.

What You Can't Include on Your POA

A Power of Attorney form only allows someone to represent you should you become unable to make decisions for yourself because you are either unavailable or incapacitated.

This could be because you are out of the country and require someone to manage your finances or business while you are away, or you have suffered a serious injury or illness.

  • You cannot include specific health or treatment options on your POA. If you would like to request that certain decisions be made regarding your personal health, you may want to consider having a Living Will/Health Care Directive as well as your Power of Attorney form.
  • You cannot transfer custody of children in your POA document.

Forms Related to a Power of Attorney:

  • Living Will/Health Care Directive: A Living Will, or Health Care Directive, specifies your personal medical preferences and dictates what choices you want to be made in the event that you fall ill or become hospitalized.
  • Last Will and Testament: A Last Will and Testament is what dictates how your assets, debts, properties, and possessions will be distributed when you pass away.
  • Codicil: A Codicil is a form that allows you to make simple amendments to your existing Last Will and Testament.
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