A Financial Power of Attorney is a legally binding instrument that allows one individual (principal) to grant the other person (agent) the authority to act on their behalf in various financial matters. Anyone is entitled to select a legal representative who will manage their finances on a daily basis, for a limited period of time, or in the event of circumstances indicated in writing.
Whether you are letting your spouse sign documents in your name, giving a friend permission to collect the benefits the government offers you, or hiring a lawyer who will guide you in intricate matters like taxation, investments, inheritance, or legal disputes related to money, this document will specify the limits of the authorization, spell out the duties of the agent, and certify your true intention to let the other person make arrangements for you and your financial well-being.
While as a general rule power of attorney is recognized by authorities, courts, and financial institutions across states, there may be exceptions. If your legal representative shows up in Alaska with a document issued and notarized in Virginia, your documentation may be processed longer because the bank employee might need to check whether the document is up to existing standards and does not contain any provisions at odds with the local legislation. This is why a state-specific Financial Power of Attorney form will be the safest bet whether you are moving between states or your agent comes from a different location - select the suitable template below.
Financial Power of Attorney forms are widely used by individuals that are incapable of monitoring their finances due to their poor health, frequent travel, or temporary absence, prefer to appoint a more knowledgeable person who will help them address the existing issue (a conflict with a bank, submitting tax returns, investments, managing a small business), or want to secure their money in the event of incapacitation.
No matter how much money you have at your disposal, an authorization that prescribes exactly how to deal with your financial affairs is a great idea especially if the choice is not immediately clear. For instance, in the event of a serious illness that does not let you find solutions and make decisions of your own, your relatives may disagree about the future of the company you own - a document that clearly states your wishes regarding the business operations of the organization and the allocation of funds and resources and names the individual who will be in charge of the business will be indispensable in preventing long-term disputes and financial loss.
If you are working with a professional lawyer who is willing to represent you in different financial matters, it is likely they will offer you to sign a uniform legal document that authorizes them to make financial decisions in your name. However, if you are planning to authorize a friend or relative to use your credit card to make purchases for you, invest your funds in stocks, or manage your benefits, it should not be a challenge to create your own authorization that appoints an agent. Here is how you need to draft a general Financial Power of Attorney:
State the full names of the principal and agent and date the document.
Indicate whether the power of attorney comes into force immediately upon signing or it goes into effect only upon the incapacitation of the person that issued it. You should also state when the authorization expires if the issues in question are temporary or you just do not want to sign a power of attorney that will last forever.
Include the full list of responsibilities granted to your legal representative. There must be precise limitations put in writing to make sure the person that handles your finances does not exceed their authority. For instance, if you are giving your agent a task to deal with a financial institution negotiating the terms of the mortgage and signing a legal agreement on your behalf, this should be explicitly stated in the form - otherwise, with vague and ambiguous wording, the document may be interpreted differently and the individual in charge of your finances may choose to put their signature on a different contract you were not asking for.
It is necessary to obtain a notary seal for your Financial Power of Attorney. Book an appointment with a local notary public who will certify your identities, confirm the authorization is not issued under duress or false pretenses, and witness you signing the papers. This will give the document an extra level of protection since notarized documents are traditionally considered more secure in the eyes of the general public and various financial institutions.
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