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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 agent) 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.
Difference between Ordinary and DurableAn Ordinary power of attorney is only valid as long as the principal is capable of acting for him or herself. An ordinary power of attorney will end automatically when the principal becomes mentally incapacitated or dies.

A Durable power of attorney is intended to remain in force in the event that the principal later becomes mentally incompetent. Of course, the principal must be competent at the time the durable power of attorney is made. A durable power of attorney ends automatically when the principal dies, or may be revoked at any time by notifying your Agent in writing that the power is revoked (You should destroy the original power of attorney).
What is meant by "incapacitated"?A person may be considered "incapacitated" if the person is unable to understand information relevant to making a decision about the management of their property, or if the person cannot appreciate the foreseeable consequences of making (or not making) a decision about the management of their property.
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POWER OF ATTORNEY

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This power of attorney authorizes another person (your agent) to make decisions concerning your property for you (the principal). The meaning of authority over subjects listed on this form is explained in the Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Chapter 1A, Title 26, Code of Alabama 1975.

This power of attorney does not authorize the agent to make health care decisions for you. Such powers are governed by other applicable law.

You should select someone you trust to serve as your agent. Unless you specify otherwise, generally the agent's authority will continue until you lose capacity, die or revoke the power of attorney or the agent resigns or is unable to act for you.

Your agent is entitled to reimbursement of reasonable expenses and reasonable compensation unless you state otherwise.

This form provides for designation of one agent or co-agents. Co-agents are not required to act together unless you include that requirement.

If all your agents or co-agents are unable or unwilling to act for you, your power of attorney will end.

This power of attorney becomes effective immediately unless you state otherwise.

If you have questions about the power of attorney or the authority you are granting to your agent, you should seek legal advice before signing this form.


THIS Power of Attorney is given by me, ____________________ (the "Principal"), presently of ____________________, _______________, in the State of ____________________, on this 28th day of August, 2015.

  1. Previous Power of Attorney
  2. I REVOKE any previous power of attorney granted by me.
  3. Agent
  4. I APPOINT __________________, of ____________________, ____________________, ____________________, to act as my Agent.
  5. Governing Law
  6. This document will be governed by the laws of the State of Alabama. Further, my Agent is directed to act in accordance with the laws of the State of Alabama at any time he or she may be acting on my behalf.
  7. Liability of Agent
  8. My Agent 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. Effective Date
  10. This Power of Attorney will start immediately and will cease to be in effect upon a finding of my mental incapacity or mental infirmity which may occur after my execution of this Power of Attorney.
  11. Powers of Agent
  12. My Agent will have the following power(s):

    Initials

    1. X_____ Real Estate Transactions

      To deal with any interest I may have in real property and sign all documents on my behalf concerning my interest, including, but not limited to, real property I may subsequently acquire or receive. These powers include, but are not limited to, the ability to:

       

      i.

      Purchase, sell, exchange, accept as gift, place as security on loans, convey with or without covenants, rent, collect rent, sue for and receive rents, eject and remove tenants or other persons, to pay or contest taxes or assessments, control any legal claim in favor of or against me, partition or consent to partitioning, mortgage, charge, lease, surrender, manage or otherwise deal with real estate and any interest therein; and

       

      ii.

      Execute and deliver deeds, transfers, mortgages, charges, leases, assignments, surrenders, releases and other instruments required for any such purpose.


    2. X_____ Maintain Property and Make Investments

      To retain any assets owned by me at the date this Ordinary Power of Attorney becomes effective, and the power to reinvest those assets in similar investments. In addition, my Agent may invest my assets in any new investments, of his or her choosing, regardless of whether or not they are authorized by any applicable legislation.

    3. X_____ Banking Transactions

      To do any act that I can do through an agent with a bank or other financial institution. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to:

       

      i.

      Open, maintain or close bank accounts (including, but not limited to, checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit), brokerage accounts, retirement plan accounts, and other similar accounts with financial institutions;

       

      ii.

      Conduct any business with any banking or financial institution with respect to any of my accounts, including, but not limited to, making deposits and withdrawals, negotiating or endorsing any checks or other instruments with respect to any such accounts, obtaining bank statements, passbooks, drafts, money orders, warrants, and certificates or vouchers payable to me by any person, firm, corporation or political entity;

       

      iii.

      Borrow money from any banking or financial institution if deemed necessary by my Agent, and to manage all aspects of the loan process, including the placement of security and the negotiation of terms;

       

      iv.

      Perform any act necessary to deposit, negotiate, sell or transfer any note, security, or draft of the United States of America, including U.S. Treasury Securities;

       

      v.

      Have access to any safe deposit box that I might own, including its contents; and

       

      vi.

      Create and deliver any financial statements necessary to or from any bank or financial institution.


    4. X_____ Business Operating Transactions

      To take any action my Agent deems necessary with any business that I may own or have an interest in by doing any act which can be done through an agent. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to execute, seal and deliver any instrument; participate in any legal business of any kind; execute partnership agreements and amendments; to incorporate, reorganize, consolidate, merge, sell, or dissolve any business; to elect or employ officers, directors and agents; and to exercise voting rights with respect to any stock I may own, either in person or by proxy.

    5. X_____ Insurance Transactions

      To do any act that I can do through an agent with any insurance policy. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to pay premiums, start, modify or terminate policies, manage all cash payouts, borrow from insurers and third parties using insurance policies as collateral, and to change the beneficiaries on any insurance policies on my life. Unless my Agent was already a beneficiary of any policy before the signing of this document, my Agent cannot name himself or herself as a beneficiary of such policy.

    6. X_____ Claims and Litigation Matters

      To institute, maintain, defend, compromise, arbitrate or otherwise dispose of, any and all actions, suits, attachments or other legal proceedings for or against me. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to: appear on my behalf or retain an attorney and any other professional personnel necessary to defend or assert any claim before any court, board, or tribunal, and the power to settle any claim against me in whichever forum or manner my Agent deems prudent, and to receive or pay any resulting settlement.

    7. X_____ Tax Matters

      To act for me in all matters that affect my local, state and federal taxes and to prepare, sign, and file documents with any governmental body or agency, including, but not limited to, authority to:

       

      i.

      Prepare, sign and file income and other tax returns with federal, state, local and other governmental bodies, and to receive any refund checks; and

       

      ii.

      Obtain information or documents from any government or its agencies, and represent me in all tax matters, including the authority to negotiate, compromise, or settle any matter with such government or agency.

    8. X_____ Government Benefits

      To act on my behalf in all matters that affect my right to allowances, compensation and reimbursements properly payable to me by the Government of the United States or any agency or department thereof. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to prepare, file, claim, defend or settle any claim on my behalf and to receive and manage, as my Agent sees fit, any proceeds of any claim.

    9. X_____ Retirement Benefit Transactions

      To act for me and represent my interests in all matters affecting any retirement savings or pension plans I may have. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to continue contributions, change contribution amounts, change investment strategies and options, move assets to other plans, receive and manage payouts, and add or change existing beneficiaries. My Agent cannot add himself or herself as a beneficiary unless he or she is already a designated beneficiary as of the signing of this document.

    10. X_____ Family Care

      To make whatever expenditures are required for the maintenance, education, benefit, medical care and general advancement of me, my spouse and dependent children, and other persons that I have chosen or which I am legally required to support, any of which may include my Agent. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to pay for housing, clothing, food, travel and other living costs.

    11. X_____ Chattel and Goods Transactions

      To purchase, sell or otherwise deal with any type of personal property I may currently or in the future have an interest in. This includes, but is not limited to, the power to purchase, sell, exchange, accept as gift, place as security on loans, rent, lease, to pay or contest taxes or assessments, mortgage or pledge.

    12. X_____ Estate Transactions

      To do any act that I can do through an agent with regard to all matters that affect any trust, probate estate, conservatorship, or other fund from which I may receive payment as a beneficiary. This power includes the power to disclaim any interest which might otherwise be transferred or distributed to me from any other person, estate, trust, or other entity, as may be appropriate. However, my Agent cannot disclaim assets to which I would be entitled, if the result is that the disclaimed assets pass directly or indirectly to my Agent or my Agent's estate.

    13. X_____ Living Trust Transactions

      To transfer any of my assets to the trustee of any revocable trust created by me, if such trust is in existence at the time of such transfer. This property can include real property, stocks, bonds, accounts, insurance policies or other property.

    14. X_____ Gift Transactions

      To make gifts to my spouse, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other family members on special occasions, including birthdays and seasonal holidays, including cash gifts, and to such other persons with whom I have an established pattern of giving (or if it is appropriate to make such gifts for estate planning and/or tax purposes), in such amounts as my Agent may decide in his or her absolute discretion, having regard to all of the circumstances, including the gifts I made while I was capable of managing my own estate, the size of my estate and my income requirements.

    15. X_____ Charity Transactions

      To continue to make gifts to charitable organizations with whom I have an established pattern of giving (or if it is appropriate to make such gifts for estate planning and/or tax purposes), in such amounts as my Agent may decide in his or her absolute discretion, having regard to all of the circumstances, including the gifts I made while I was capable of managing my own estate, the size of my estate and my income requirements.

    16. X_____ Employ Required Professionals

      To appoint and employ any agents, servants, companions, or other persons, including nurses and other health care professionals for my care and the care of my spouse and dependent children, and accountants, attorneys, clerks, workers and others for the management, preservation and protection of my property and estate, at such compensation and for such length of time as my Agent considers advisable.

    17. X_____ Manage Real Estate

      To manage the property owned by me, or in which I have an interest, located at _____________________________________________________, and municipally known as _____________________________________________________. This power includes, but is not limited to, the power to receive rents, make repairs, pay expenses including the insuring of the property and generally to deal with my property as effectually as I myself could do; to take all lawful proceedings by way of action or otherwise, for recovery of rent in arrears, or for eviction of tenants; and to commence, carry on and defend all actions, suits and other proceedings touching my property or any part of it.

    18. X_____ Manage Specific Financial Account

      To control my accounts with ____________________ Bank, located at _________________________________________, Account Number(s)__________________________________________. This power includes the authority to conduct any business with respect to any of my listed accounts, including, but not limited to, making deposits and withdrawals, negotiating or endorsing any cheques or other instruments with respect to any such accounts, obtaining bank statements, passbooks, drafts, money orders, warrants, and certificates or vouchers payable to me by any person, firm, corporation or political entity, and to perform any act necessary to deposit, negotiate, sell or transfer any note, security or draft.

  13. Agent Compensation
  14. My Agent will receive no compensation except for the reimbursement of all out of pocket expenses associated with the carrying out of my wishes.
  15. Co-owning of Assets and Mixing of Funds
  16. Personal Gain from Managing My Affairs
  17. My Agent is allowed to personally gain from any transaction he or she may complete on my behalf if the transaction is completed in good faith and with my Agent believing it is in my best interest.
  18. Delegation of Authority
  19. My Agent may delegate any authority granted under this document to a person of his or her choosing. Any delegation must be in writing and state the extent of the power delegated and the period of time in which the delegation will be effective.
  20. Agent Restrictions
  21. This Power of Attorney is not subject to any conditions or restrictions other than those noted above.
  22. Notice to Third Parties
  23. 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 Agent 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 Agent 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.
  24. Severability
  25. 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.
  26. Acknowledgment
  27. 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 Alabama 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 28th day of August, 2015.


SIGNED, SEALED, AND DELIVERED

     

in the presence of:

     
       

Witness: ______________________ (Sign)

     

Witness Name: ______________________

     

Address: ___________________________

   

__________________________________

___________________________________

   

____________________ (Principal)

       

Witness: ______________________ (Sign)

     

Witness Name: ______________________

     

Address: ___________________________

     

___________________________________

   

NOTARY ACKNOWLEDGMENT


STATE OF ____________
COUNTY OF ____________________

- NO STATE SELECTED -

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR AGENT

Agent's Duties

When you accept the authority granted under this power of attorney, a special legal relationship is created between you and the principal. This relationship imposes upon you legal duties that continue until you resign or the power of attorney is terminated or revoked. You must:

  1. do what you know the principal reasonably expects you to do with the principal's property or, if you do not know the principal's expectations, act in the principal's best interest;
  2. act in good faith;
  3. do nothing beyond the authority granted in this power of attorney; and
  4. disclose your identity as an agent whenever you act for the principal by writing or printing the name of the principal and signing your own name as "agent" in the following manner

    (Principal's Name) by (Your Signature) as Agent.

Unless the instructions contained in this power of attorney state otherwise, you must also:

  1. act loyally for the principal's benefit;
  2. avoid conflicts that would impair your ability to act in the principal's best interest;
  3. act with care, competence, and diligence;
  4. keep a record of all receipts, disbursements, and transactions made on behalf of the principal;
  5. cooperate with any person that has authority to make health care decisions for the principal to do what you know the principal reasonably expects or, if you do not know the principal's expectations, to act in the principal's best interest; and
  6. attempt to preserve the principal's estate plan if you know the plan and preserving the plan is consistent with the principal's best interest.

Termination of Agent's Authority

You must stop acting on behalf of the principal if you learn of any event that terminates this power of attorney or your authority under this power of attorney. Events that terminate a power of attorney or your authority to act under a power of attorney include:

  1. death of the principal;
  2. the principal's revocation of the power of attorney or your authority;
  3. the occurrence of a termination event stated in the power of attorney;
  4. the purpose of the power of attorney is fully accomplished; or
  5. if you are married to the principal, a legal action is filed with a court to end your marriage, or for your legal separation, unless the instructions in this power of attorney state that such an action will not terminate your authority.

Liability of Agent

The meaning of the authority granted to you is defined in the Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Chapter 1A, Title 26, Code of Alabama 1975. If you violate the Alabama Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Chapter 1A, Title 26, Code of Alabama 1975, or act outside the authority granted, you may be liable for any damages caused by your violation.

If there is anything about this document or your duties that you do not understand, you should seek legal advice.


WITNESS CERTIFICATE


I, _________________________, currently residing at __________________________, in the City of __________________, in the State of ____________________, hereby acknowledge that:

  1. I witnessed the signing of the Power of Attorney of ____________________ dated this 28th day of August, 2015.
  2. I am an adult with capacity to witness the signing of the Power of Attorney and I am the subscribing witness thereto.
  3. In my opinion, ____________________ had the capacity to understand the nature and effect of the Power of Attorney at the time the Power of Attorney was signed and the Principal signed it freely and voluntarily without any compulsion or influence from any person.
  4. I am not the Agent named in the Power of Attorney nor am I the Agent's spouse or other family member.



_________________________

_________________________

(Signature of Witness)

(Date)


WITNESS CERTIFICATE


I, _________________________, currently residing at __________________________, in the City of __________________, in the State of ____________________, hereby acknowledge that:

  1. I witnessed the signing of the Power of Attorney of ____________________ dated this 28th day of August, 2015.
  2. I am an adult with capacity to witness the signing of the Power of Attorney and I am the subscribing witness thereto.
  3. In my opinion, ____________________ had the capacity to understand the nature and effect of the Power of Attorney at the time the Power of Attorney was signed and the Principal signed it freely and voluntarily without any compulsion or influence from any person.
  4. I am not the Agent named in the Power of Attorney nor am I the Agent's spouse or other family member.



_________________________

_________________________

(Signature of Witness)

(Date)

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.

When You Should Have a Power of Attorney Form

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.

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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