Scales of Justice

The Non-Durable Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know

What is a nondurable power of attorney? A nondurable power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate someone the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so yourself. This person is known as your “agent.” A non-durable power of attorney becomes effective immediately and ends when you die or become incapacitated.

In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of non-durable powers of attorney, including what they are, why you need one, who can serve as an agent, how to get one, what powers it has over you, and what powers it doesn’t have over you, and how they work.

If you have a loved one in need of a power of attorney, click here. We can provide the documents immediately.

Notary public in office stamping document

Why Would I Need a Power of Attorney?

If you or a family member is going in for surgery or you have health issues where you’re concerned about being in a state where you can’t speak for yourself, you will want a durable power of attorney. The reason for this is a nondurable power of attorney ends when a person passes away or is unable to answer for themselves. If you need a nondurable power of attorney right away, please click here and we will get a notary to bring you one right away.

What exactly is Non-Durable Power of attorney?

This refers to the legal authorization of a financial power of attorney that is limited in scope and time. It is not a durable power of attorney. A medical power of attorney needs to be durable because one of its main intent is that you have selected a person to speak for you if you’re medically incapacitated or mentally incapacitated and can’t speak for yourself for medical care. When a principal grants an agent to act with a nondurable power of attorney they’re not giving another party broad powers and general authority to act over his or her affairs. The authority is usually for a specific purpose. For example, for legal authority or financial management affairs.

This kind of power has more limitations over finances and affairs than the counterpart durable power of attorney. A nondurable power of attorney can be revoked at any time by its maker and terminates when he/she dies or is incapacitated. There are some exceptions, though, depending on state laws. If there’s only a need for specific powers, for example selling a house, then you will most likely need a limited power of attorney. You’ll find more information about this type of POA here.

Examples of different scenarios where you would need a POA

Let’s say you have a business that you run. You have a lot of legal actions you take for that business daily. In most cases, there will only be so many financial and legal matters that the other people taking care of you will have. You will generally have a durable financial power of attorney in place so that, in the event, you become ill or injured unexpectedly, you have someone available to conduct business and handle a financial transaction until you can return to work.

For example, now let’s say you’re going to be traveling for work out of the country for a few months and you won’t be able to physically sign paperwork. You could use a non-durable power of attorney to make your wife or a family member able to do specific things. Perhaps you’re in the middle of refinancing or selling property. This way your wife or a family member could sign for you using this document.

In some cases, you may need medical professionals or attorneys to establish you’re capable of physically signing a durable POA. This could involve elder law depending on who is signing a durable POA. For example, an elderly family member who they did establish was incapacitated in the past or has a disability.

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How to revoke a power of attorney

There are 3 ways for the principal revokes a power of attorney.

Destroy all copies

If you have all copies of the power of attorney, you can simply destroy them. If you do so, as long as you didn’t file it as a public record. (this is something rarely done with a power of attorney) then it is no longer valid.

If there are copies of the legal document that have been given to anyone, either the agent having a copy or your doctor has one on file. You can use the 2 following methods.

write a letter of revocation

To legally remove a person as your agent you must present them with a written letter of revocation. This is a letter that must be signed in front of a notary public, just as the original power of attorney needs to be.

Sign a new power of attorney document

A power of attorney template, almost always states that it replaces any and all previous power of attorney documents preceding the one now being signed. This does skip the need for a separate letter but you must make sure that you do present anyone that has the old power of attorney documents with the new and current ones. This can be very important if you don’t want the old agent to have any ability to act or be involved with medical decisions or business matters.

How to get Non-Durable Power of attorney

If you need a simple non-durable power of attorney, you can click here and we will help get one for you. We can have it put together for you and brought to you by a notary familiar with filling out this type of paperwork. If you are looking for very specific and unique guidelines for this, you will need to have an attorney create one that suits your specific needs. In this case, you are probably looking for a special or limited power of attorney, you can find more information by clicking here.

A POA could also be part of an estate plan that you have put together with a law firm. This can cover a wide range of things such as financial matters, property, legal or tax advice, Healthcare decisions, and a medical poa. The law firm would create these documents where they would explicitly state how you wanted your financial and medical affairs to be handled on your behalf.

Once you have determined what you specifically need, you will need to do the following steps.

1. Name the Proxy or Agent you will give legal authority

A proxy or agent will be able to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so. Another way of putting it would be to call it agent authority. This person will have control over your finances and other assets according to what you have put into the poa document. You must choose someone with your best interest at heart, as they will have access to all your personal information. You can choose anyone, including a family member, friend, neighbor, or business associate. The only requirement is that they are at least 18 years old and can make their own decisions. Make sure to include them in any discussions about what type of care you may need in case you become incapacitated.

2. Schedule a Meeting with an estate planning Attorney or Family Law attorney

You need to look for an attorney specializing in estate planning or family law. They will be able to provide you with all the necessary information on how to set up a non-durable power of attorney. It’s best to call and set up an appointment. Some attorneys will accept walk-in service but a quality attorney will generally already have business planned for the day.

A POA could also be part of an estate plan that you have put together with a law firm. This can cover a wide range of things such as financial matters, legal or tax advice, Healthcare decisions, and a medical poa. The law firm would create these documents where they would explicitly state how you wanted your financial and medical affairs to be handled on your behalf.

3. Finalize and Sign the Documents

After creating your POA, you will need to sign it in front of a notary public. If your attorney doesn’t have one readily available, you can click here and we will be able to get a qualified notary public out to you for this type of signing. They do not need to be filed with the court. A POA is enforceable as soon as they are signed.

4. Share Signed Copies with the Right People

You should keep the original signed copy someplace safe, like a safety deposit box, home safe, or a lockable file cabinet. For most state laws, a digital copy is just as enforceable as an original copy. A good idea is to have the document scanned and keep a copy on a flash drive along with a copy on your computer. You can also email it to yourself or upload it to your cloud account. This way you always have access to it when you need it. You can also email a copy to your agents so that they can find it in their emails in the event they need to find it quickly.

5. Update Documents when Necessary

Your POA should be updated each time that you move to a new address. It needs to be updated if you change your name due to marriage, divorce, or any other reason. If you have new issues with your health, you may want to update these documents.

It is a good idea to have new documents redrafted for this purpose. If you try to simply update the old documents, you could create errors on the paperwork.

Remember, a Power of Attorney can be rejected by a bank or medical facility if there are inconsistencies with the paperwork. Some banks will reject a power of attorney if there are any corrections even as simple as a date that was written incorrectly during the signing.

Notary stamping document

Some government agencies will require their own general POA

Some government agencies will require their own general power of attorney. I’ve had personal experiences where a person would get a general POA from us to get to the government agency only to be told they would not recognize the authority of that financial document for their affairs and would give them their legal document so they could act on their behalf.

If you have a specific purpose for a POA, you do want to check with that agency first so you don’t wind up getting caught up in their system.

What it can control for a person

A non-durable power of attorney can be employed to control various things, including;

Your agent can be given the legal authority to act with these general powers granted over your financial assets, including; handle bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. They can deal with your utility bills and other general household bills, like the cable company. They can also make any transaction on your behalf as long as it is within their power and not outside it. So if you want them to sell some property or make a deposit in your account, they can do so but only within their power and not outside it.

Choosing the right agent for non-durable power of attorney

There are factors you must consider when choosing the person-appointed agent for non-durable power of attorney.

1. Trustworthy and reliable

You want someone who will not make a lot of mistakes and should also be someone who will not take advantage of your trust and act in ways that are against your best interest. They should know what they are doing and how to do it. They need to be easy to get along with as well, because if you can’t stand them, then why would you want them making decisions on your behalf? It’s important that whoever takes on these responsibilities knows what they are doing because if there is any wrongdoing on their part, then there could be serious consequences for both parties involved.

2. Located near you

Ensure that your agent is close by so they can act quickly if there is an emergency. If you are unable to communicate for some reason, then your agent must know what steps need to be taken and how to take them. This person needs to be someone who you trust because, in a situation like this, you will likely not be able to give input on every decision. It’s also good if they live nearby because they can keep an eye on your home while you are away.

3. Passionate about becoming an agent

You should also consider how your agent feels about being an agent. If they are willing to do it, then that’s great, but if they don’t want to, then you might have a problem. It’s important that your agent is committed and knows what they are doing to avoid consequences for both parties involved.

4. Choose someone who shares your values and wishes

Your agent should also share your values and wishes. This way, they will be more inclined to follow your directions and uphold what you want. If they don’t share these things, then it may be more difficult for them to work with you.

Other forms of Power of attorney

You can find more information about all of these types of POA on the links below.

Signing a POA

Most of the time, when signing legal documents and using a POA for a principal, you will most likely sign it in this fashion.

Principal’s signature as-attorney-in-fact by Your signature. (John Doe As-attorney-in-fact by Jane Doe).

It is extremely important to find out exactly how the person requesting the documents signed is willing to accept them. Take for example a real estate signing this is over 100 pages. If not executed to their standards, they will reject the paperwork and it will all need to be done again.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, non-durable power of attorney is an important document that allows you to give someone else permission to act on your behalf in case you are unable to do so. It is one of several powers that can be given through a legal instrument. It will end if you are incapacitated or pass away. Hopefully, this guide has helped you better understand what it is and how it works.

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