Do You Have a Notarized Power of Attorney?
What is a power of attorney used for?
A Power of Attorney is a document created by a person (the principal) to allow someone to make decisions on their behalf. The person who accepts the responsibility and power to make decisions on the principal’s behalf is called an agent; also known as the attorney-in-fact.
“The principal is the person giving the power or permission. The agent or (attorney-in-fact) is accepting power or responsibility.”
The most common types of Power of Attorneys that we see are:
- Durable Power of Attorney : Your agent’s authority to act on your behalf continues if you become incapacitated.
- Medical Power of Attorney : allows your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
- Limited Power of Attorney : Your agent makes decisions on your behalf for a short time for specific transactions like the sale or purchase of property or investments.
Oftentimes, we have a request for Power of Attorney notary services for these reasons:
- An individual(s) is finalizing their estate plan.
- A person who is ill & does not have power of attorney.
- Real Estate transactions.
Getting through a complete estate plan is not fun, but it does call for celebration for various reasons. To begin with, an estate plan can take time to finalize with your family and attorney, depending on what is needed. This is because a complete estate plan, may include multiple documents, such as a durable power of attorney and a gift rider, a living will, a last will and testament, a trust, and a medical power of attorney. A full estate plan provides the most protection for your family’s future and your final wishes. Due to possible life changes, it is important to review and update an estate plan every two to five years.
The hardest part of completing documents like these is when we are hired to notarize a medical power of attorney or a durable power of attorney, and the principal has fallen ill. Extra care, patience, and compassion are the key ingredients when notarizing documents for individuals in delicate health. It is important to note that in such challenging times, we are always honored to be the notary in the room. Although all parties understand what may lie ahead, there is a sigh of relief when at least a Durable Power of Attorney, a Medical Power of Attorney, a Financial Power of Attorney, or some combination of all three is in place.
Unfortunately, we’ve received calls for services, when it is too late for a power of attorney. Either the loved one has passed away before the completion or signing of documents, or an individual has lost the capacity to make decisions independently.
A person medically or mentally incapacitated cannot legally appoint the necessary individuals to follow through with their medical decisions or decide who will take care of his or her finances. In these cases, a Notary cannot legally notarize any type of power of attorney or other document. Situations like these can make an already painful situation worse for loved ones. Having those hard conversations with family and getting the proper powers of attorney signed and notarized along with other estate planning documents, will alleviate undue stress.
At BKNYC Mobile Notary, as our name suggests, we travel to all five boroughs of NYC, from Brooklyn to Manhattan, to Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. We notarize many documents from estate planning notarizations to real estate closings and more, this brings us to limited powers of attorney.
There are cases when a borrower or seller cannot be at the closing table for their home. That is where a Limited Power of Attorney will come into play. Like with the other abovementioned POAs, the principal will elect an Attorney-in-Fact to sign in their place. Often, the acting attorney-in-fact must sign in a specific way in order to complete the documents. In addition, A Full-force Affidavit (a document stating that the POA has not been revoked and is still in FULL FORCE) might also need to be signed on the day of closing if, the POA was enacted before the closing date. The lender, lawyer, or escrow company, in this case, will explain how the document will need to be signed.
There are many types of Power of Attorneys and different ways to use each one with varying authorities and lengths of time; this article only mentions a few. In part two of this article, we will be discussing “Is Having a Power of Attorney Enough?” Join us as we explore this subject more in-depth next Month.
If you or a loved one need a power of attorney signed, please Schedule an appointment with BKNYC Mobile Notary today or call us at (917) 792-9339. Our Notary experts are ready and available to help you get these key documents notarized so that you and your family can breathe a sigh of relief if or when the time comes.
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