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How To Make a Power of Attorney in Nebraska FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Madison Hess, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 16, 2024

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Having a power of attorney means someone you trust can help you handle your affairs when you can’t due to an illness or incapacity. Learn how you can benefit by having this legal document and how to make a valid power of attorney in Nebraska.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) in Nebraska is a legal document that allows you, as a “principal,” to name someone you trust as your “agent” or “attorney in fact.” to make decisions on your behalf. Nebraska §30-4001 through §30-4045 of the Nebraska Uniform Power of Attorney Act covers the laws regarding powers of attorney.

There are different types of powers of attorney. A financial power of attorney gives your agent authority to handle your legal and financial matters for you. A medical power of attorney gives your agent authority to manage your healthcare information and make medical decisions for you when you cannot.

Without a power of attorney, if you suddenly can’t manage your affairs, your family members may have to ask a court for a conservatorship. The court then gives a conservator the legal authority to handle your legal and financial decisions. What if they appoint someone you or your family don’t like? Having a power of attorney document means your loved ones won’t need to spend time and money in court.

Who Can Be My Agent?

In Nebraska, any competent person age 18 or older can be your agent. You can name a family member, friend, or professional such as a financial advisor, accountant, or attorney.

When choosing your agent, find someone who is trustworthy, organized, and responsible. An agent has a fiduciary duty to act in good faith in the principal’s best interest, but they also have broad control over the principal’s money and assets.

While you may want to name more than one agent, using co-agents is tricky. If your agents have to work together, if they disagree, nothing will get done. If they can act independently, they may reverse or contradict each other’s actions. It is better to name one agent as your primary agent and another agent as your backup or successor agent if your primary agent is unavailable.

What Can My Agent Do in Nebraska?

Your agent can do anything you give them the power to do, such as paying bills, accessing bank accounts, managing your property, and making financial decisions. Under Nebraska §30-4024 through §30-4040, you can authorize your agent to have general authority over the following transactions:

  • Real property (real estate)
  • Tangible personal property (personal possessions)
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Commodities and options
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Operation of entity or business
  • Insurance and annuities
  • Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests
  • Claims and litigation
  • Personal and family maintenance
  • Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service
  • Retirement plans
  • Taxes
  • Gifts

However, there are additional specific powers that you may or may not want to authorize. These powers allow your agent to give away your property. You may want them to reduce your estate to qualify you for government benefits such as Medicaid or minimize estate taxes. Under §30-4024, you must expressly grant the following powers:

  • Create, amend, revoke, or terminate a living trust
  • Make a gift
  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Disclaim property, including a power of appointment

Think about what you want your agent to do for you and what powers they need to do it. Talk to your agent about how you want them to handle your money and your property.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Nebraska?

durable power of attorney in Nebraska remains in effect even if you become incapacitated, meaning it allows your agent to continue making decisions for you. Under §30-4004, the power of attorney is durable unless you expressly provide that it terminates upon your incapacity.

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

Under §30-4009, a power of attorney is effective when executed unless you provide that it becomes effective at a future date or upon the occurrence of a future event or contingency. For example, you can make your POA effective upon your incapacity, called a “springing” power of attorney.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

Your power of attorney ends when you revoke your power of attorney or you die. There are other events when your power of attorney and your agent’s authority ends, such as:

  • Your agent dies or is unable to act, and you do not have a backup or successor agent.
  • You are incapacitated, and your power of attorney is non-durable.
  • The power of attorney terminates.
  • The purpose of the power of attorney is accomplished.
  • You revoke your agents’ authority.
  • Your agent is your spouse, and an action is filed for the dissolution or annulment of your marriage unless you provide otherwise in your power of attorney.

That is why you want to name backup or successor agents in your power of attorney document.

Does Nebraska Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

Yes, Nebraska provides a statutory power of attorney form under §30-4041. However, Nebraska does not require you to use this form as it is hard to customize. You can either create a power of attorney by doing it yourself or hiring an estate planning attorney.

Can I Make My Power of Attorney in Nebraska?

Yes. In Nebraska, you must be an adult and mentally competent. When making your power of attorney, you should know who you want as your agent and what authority to give them. Many people looking for do-it-yourself options use online power of attorney forms. If you have questions about making a power of attorney, however, you may want to talk with an attorney for legal advice.

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How Do I Make My Power of Attorney Valid in Nebraska?

Under Nebraska §30-4005, you must sign your power of attorney document or direct someone to sign it for you in your conscious presence. A notary public must also attest to your signature to make your power of attorney valid in Nebraska.

Do I Have to Notarize My Power of Attorney in Nebraska?

Yes. In Nebraska, a power of attorney is only valid if it is acknowledged in the presence of a notary or other individual authorized by law to take acknowledgments.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

After signing your power of attorney, you should provide copies to your agent, financial institutions, and anyone else who may need to recognize your agent’s authority. It’s also wise to discuss your wishes with your agent to ensure they understand their responsibilities.

A third party, such as a bank or financial institution, may ask your agent to complete an agent certification form in which your agent attests that your power of attorney is effective and that they have the authority to act as your agent.

Does a Power of Attorney Agent Get Paid in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, your agent may receive reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred while acting under your power of attorney. Your agent may also receive reasonable compensation for their time unless you state otherwise in your power of attorney.

Is My Nebraska Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. Generally, other states will honor your Nebraska power of attorney if it is created and executed following the state of Nebraska’s laws.

Can I Revoke My Nebraska Power of Attorney?

Yes. As long as you are still mentally competent, you can revoke your power of attorney. The revocation should be in writing and given to your agent and all third parties who have your original POA. You should also destroy your original power of attorney.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Nebraska?

In addition to a financial power of attorney, consider a health care directive, a living will, and a last will and testament to complete your estate plan.

A healthcare directive incorporates a power of attorney for healthcare and a living will. This document may also be called an advance directive. In your directive, you name a healthcare agent to handle your medical records, speak with providers, and make healthcare decisions for you when you are unable. You can also include instructions regarding your end-of-life care, such as what life-prolonging measures you want to be given or withheld if you have an end-stage or terminal illness.

last will and testament lets you decide who handles your estate, inherits your property, and cares for your minor children. Without a will, you die “intestate,” and a probate court follows intestacy laws for property distribution and decides who handles your estate and your children. With a will, you are in charge of your family and your property, giving you peace of mind.

Fortunately, by using online estate planning templates, it is easy to create a valid power of attorney and other Nebraska estate planning documents.

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