There are a few considerations that you should keep in mind before appointing a Power of Attorney.
Before starting a Durable POA document, individuals are advised to read and understand the following steps:
Important Information Regarding Your Jurisdiction’s Laws or Regulations
This section outlines the function of the document and responsibilities of the agent. Read this thoroughly to understand the implications of the document.
Fill in the required citation (referencing your jurisdiction's laws or regulations) to clarify the scope of the agent's authority.
Designation of Agent
After inputting your name, you need to identify who will hold the authority to make decisions on your behalf. This person should be dependable and capable of making decisions aligned with your best interests. Remember, the person you select will have considerable power and control over your affairs.
Designation of Successor Agent (optional)
Designating a successor is an optional contingency plan in case your initial agent cannot fulfil their duties.
This role, like the initial agent, requires a responsible individual. Choosing more than one successor can provide additional assurance that someone will be available to act on your behalf.
Grant of General Authority
In this section, you're customizing the scope of the agent's powers. By initialing the different categories, you determine which areas your agent can act within.
Be cautious and conscious of what each category implies, to avoid granting unwanted authority.
Grant of Specific Authority
If you choose to grant specific authority, your agent will be able to perform certain actions that can significantly impact your estate.
Each item in this section is a significant action that can affect your property or its disposition upon your death. Only grant these powers if you fully trust your agent's judgment.
To point out the relevance of this section, be aware that these specific authorities may include:
Create or change rights of survivorship
Create or change a beneficiary designation
Authorize another person to exercise the authority granted under this power of attorney
Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
Access the content of electronic communications
Limitation on Agent's Authority
This section provides a chance to further refine your agent's powers.
You might think of it as a space for customization or clarifications, enabling you to add any nuanced details regarding the agent's role that were not covered in previous sections.
Unless you stipulate otherwise, the power of attorney will come into effect as soon as it's signed and notarized.
However, you have the option to specify conditions for its activation, such as a medical determination of incapacity.
Reliance on This Power of Attorney
This reassures third parties (banks, financial institutions, etc.) that they can rely on the decisions made by your agent.
If you become incapacitated, the document remains valid, providing necessary continuity.
Signature and Acknowledgment
Here, you officially sign the document, indicating your approval of all the details within.
A notary's presence is often required to authenticate the document, providing an additional level of security and validity.
Important Information for Agent
This final part of the document details the responsibilities and legal obligations of the agent.
It's not only for your agent to read but also for you to understand what expectations and responsibilities your agent is bound by law to meet.