• You can only make a power of attorney if you are capable of legally making your
• Only an adult can grant power of attorney
• You have to make a document granting power of attorney
• You need to sign and notarize your power of attorney
Signed and Notarized
• Give someone else the right to pay your bills for you, enter into
contracts on your behalf, manager finances, invest your money,
or other specific financial abilities
• Give someone else the ability to make medical decisions for
you should you become medically incapacitated or otherwise
unable to make your own decisions
Everyday financial management such as bills or other payments
Buying, selling, or maintaining real estate
Paying taxes or preparing tax returns
Operating your family business
Transferring property to a trust
Managing financial investments
Not Necessarily a Lawyer
• The title “attorney-in-fact” does not require you to
appoint a lawyer, nor does it mean your agent can act as
an attorney. It simply means that person represents your
• Your agent can not take advantage of his or her position
to better his or her own interests. Your agent has to act
with your best interests in mind.
• You must appoint a capable adult as your agent and not
someone who is mentally infirm, under the age of 18, or
otherwise unsuitable to perform the duties as your
You cannot force anyone to be your agent. The
person must be willing to serve in the position.
Individual or Organization
Your agent can be a single person, multiple
people, or representatives of an organization that
you appoint to the position, such as your bank
• These powers grant specific authority to the agent but only
in a limited capacity.
• These grant the agent the most possible authority under
• These powers only take effect if specific circumstances
happen. For example, a springing power of attorney could
give your agent authority to manage your finances if you
are ever in an accident or otherwise incapacitated.
• The power of attorney automatically terminates as soon as
• Your agent has the authority to act on your behalf for as long
as he or she remains aware that the power of attorney is in
effect. To effectively revoke it you must notify the agent of the
• You also retain the right to effectively change the agent’s
powers. This is typically done by revoking the old power of
attorney and adopting a new power of attorney that states
the new limitations.
You cannot give your agent the right to make or modify
your will, choose a guardian for your child, vote in an
election, or other rights that only you have.
Powers of attorney terminate on death, so if you want your
agent to act as your probate representative you need to
appoint that person as your executor in your will.
You can create powers of attorney now that will only
spring into effect should an emergency arise.
If you want to change your powers of attorney, it is
relatively simple to do this later, especially after you’ve
already gone through the process of discussing what
options you have.