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Appoint someone to manage your finances or property for you in a financial power of attorney customized to the laws of your state. Our do-it-yourself option makes the process inexpensive and easy.
Financial Power of Attorney
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A do-it-yourself financial power of attorney form that’s easy to personalize.
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Why You Need a Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that you can use to give someone else legal authority over your financial decisions. This matters if an illness or injury ever prevents you from handling your own finances. It’s also handy for an upcoming vacation or medical procedure.
Avoid Financial Hardship
Protect your financial well-being by ensuring someone can access your finances when you cannot.
Choose an Agent YOU Trust
Designate a person you trust to handle financial affairs on your behalf. You own the decision.
Get Peace of Mind
Spend mere minutes now to prevent your family from having to go to court later to access your accounts.
What To Expect
The process takes under an hour, and you can complete it from the comfort of your home.
Answer Some Questions
Decide who your agent will be and what authority you want them to have. Then, simply answer a few questions.
Create an Account
Creating an account is easy, quick, and secure. Save your information as you go and return when you have time.
Complete Your Document
Once you answer the relevant questions, we do the hard part and create your unique document.
Print, Sign & Make It Legal
Print and sign your document following the instructions. This may include signing in front of witnesses or a notary.
FAQs About Powers of Attorney
Select your state to learn about the specific laws that apply to you:
- District of Columbia
- Missouri – Coming Soon
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina – Coming Soon
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington – Coming Soon
- West Virginia
In most cases, you may not need a lawyer to make a financial power of attorney. A financial power of attorney is one of the easiest legal documents to create. You can get one with FindLaw’s guided process in about 30 minutes. You will not even need to leave home.
Although you may find free financial power of attorney forms at banks or in state statutes, they may not include all of the provisions you need. When choosing a form, it is important to make sure that it is up to date, follows your state’s laws, and gives your agent the specific powers you wish to delegate.
With FindLaw, you can get an attorney-developed financial power of attorney form that may suit your needs for only $35. The only additional fee will be if you need the services of a notary public. Your FindLaw financial power of attorney’s signing instructions will make it clear whether this is necessary in your state. You may be able to get free notarization services at your bank. If not, notary public fees are low in most states.
When you use FindLaw’s DIY process, you can rest assured that you will get a document that’s personalized to your needs, based on the answers you provide.
FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney.
Not in all state forms. In some, you can select more than one agent on a power of attorney. But it’s usually better to name one. With multiple agents, there is a risk of confusion or conflict among agents. Further, you will need to decide whether your co-agents can act independently. If not, you have to choose whether they must make decisions unanimously or by majority vote.
Although it’s best to avoid co-agents, it’s a good idea to select a successor agent (a backup agent). Your successor agent will be able to make your financial decisions if your original agent dies, resigns, or becomes unable to complete this duty.
No, your financial power of attorney does not give your agent the power to make health care decisions for you.
If you would like to delegate your health care decisions to a trusted person, you should create a health care directive and living will that names a health care agent to make medical decisions for you. In your health care directive and living will, you can also express your medical treatment wishes. This can prevent uncertainty and disagreements among family members in the event that you ever become incapacitated and unable to make your own medical decisions.
A power of attorney can last for an indefinite time. If you prefer, you can state that it will expire on a specific date or when a certain event occurs.
If no specific end date or event is listed, a power of attorney may end when any of the following events happens:
- The principal dies
- The principal is incapacitated (nondurable only)
- The principal revokes it
- The principal and agent divorce or annul their marriage
- The purpose of the financial power of attorney expires
- Death of the agent (if there is no successor agent or co-agent)
If your agent or a third party are unaware of the fact that your financial power of attorney has ended, they usually will not be liable for continuing to act on it. Imagine, for example, that your agent sells your property to a third party after your revocation. If the third party has a good faith belief that your financial power of attorney is still valid, they might not have to return the property. This is why it’s so important to inform your agent and anybody you do business with about the revocation or expiration of your financial power of attorney. This will help to avoid any future hassles.
As long as you are of sound mind, you can revoke your financial power of attorney any time you are capable of doing so. However, states may have different laws about how to revoke your financial power of attorney.
To be safe, it is best to revoke your financial power of attorney in a notarized writing. It’s important to let your agent know about the revocation and give them a copy of your written revocation. You should provide your written revocation to any third parties that your agent worked with on your behalf too.
Another way to revoke a financial power of attorney is by creating a new one that revokes prior ones. However, you should be cautious with the wording on the new financial power of attorney. If you have several powers of attorney and do not want to revoke them all, you should make this clear in your new document.
Usually not. In most cases, you are the only person who has the authority to change or revoke your financial power of attorney. Generally, you can change your financial power of attorney without needing outside consent.
However, there are limited circumstances when a court can override a principal’s financial power of attorney. This usually occurs when an agent is not acting in the principal’s best interest, and the principal is unaware because of incompetence or incapacity. In this situation, family members of the principal can petition a court to remove the agent or revoke the financial power of attorney.
For the most part, your agent can do anything your financial power of attorney document allows them to do. A general financial power of attorney gives an agent broad powers over your property and finances. They will have the same ability that you do to enter into transactions and deal with financial institutions.
For example, your agent can open or close bank accounts, pay your bills, sell real estate, and more. If you would like to restrict your agent’s authority, you can do so in the financial power of attorney document.
Your agent also must act in good faith and your best interests in mind. Although a financial power of attorney might give the agent broad financial powers, it does not permit them to use their authority to make decisions that are obviously bad for you.
What Agents Can’t Do
Agents cannot act beyond the scope of the powers given in the financial power of attorney document. For example, if your financial power of attorney says that your agent can only handle real estate transactions, then your agent cannot sell your car.
There are certain things an agent can never do. An agent cannot:
- Make a last will and testament (a “will“) for the principal
- Change their authority under a financial power of attorney
- Consent to adoption of the principal’s children or limit the principal’s parent or guardian rights
- Have powers that violate laws
There may be further restrictions on an agent’s powers where you live. Experienced attorneys have developed FindLaw’s forms with these restrictions in mind. So, you can rest easy knowing that your financial power of attorney form will be based on the laws in your state when you purchase it through FindLaw. If you have a complicated situation and would like some additional legal advice, an experienced estate planning attorney near you can help.
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