Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney or POA is a legal document that authorizes or appoints either and individual or company to act on your behalf to handle your affairs.
There are many uses for the Power of Attorney form. I have seen it most in context of a real estate closing. If one of the parties to the real estate closing cannot attend the closing, they may give someone else, usually the spouse or family member, POA to act on their behalf for the closing.
This is usually a "limited" POA. It limits the acts of the person granted the authority to act only for this transaction.
Other uses can include military personnel on active duty and overseas. The spouse will have POA to act on behalf of the other spouse. This is generally a "general" POA that grants broad powers to the grantee (person granted the powers under the POA) It is a very powerful document and should be used wisely.
POA can also be used in corporate transactions. If a stockholder cannot be at a stockholder meeting he can grant power of attorney to someone else or to the corporation to vote on his behalf. This is a "limited" POA.
Health Care POAs are also popular. These allow a person (usually a loved one) to handle your affairs if you are hospitalize, incapacitated by illness or otherwise unable to handle you affairs due to illness. These are usually "general" and "durable" (see below for explanation) and are very powerful legal instruments.
There are several types of POA that you should be familiar with as a notary.
1. General POA. This grants broad powers and is very powerful document. Should be used wisely and should be drawn by an attorney. These General power of attorney can be tailored to limit period of time and scope of use. They can also be drawn to be durable (see below for explanation of "durable").
2. Limited POA. Limited as to scope of powers or time or both. These are usually "use specific" documents. For example, to be used in real estate transactions or corporate transactions.
3. Durable POA. This is really a "sub-category" of General and Limited POA as either of these can be made "durable." Durable POA is one that survives your incapacitation. For example if you are in a coma, this document will still be in force.
Powers of Attorney, for obvious reasons, do not survive your death. At that point your will "takes over."
Power of Attorney Form for you to review.
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