Completing a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is one type of advance directive that allows you to authorize another person to act on your behalf. POA's are not just for people who are sick or old. If something happened to you and you ended up in the hospital, how would your bills get paid, or your other personal business taken care of? This series goes over the Power of Attorney form, including the options allowed and walks through filling out each section
Filling out the Form: Sections 3 and 4 - Choosing what your agent can do
Power of Attorney Series
Section 3– Choosing what powers to give your agent
Section 3 contains a list of powers that you can give to your agent. If you want this to be a general power of attorney and want your agent to be able to handle anything that you yourself could, make sure you check each and every box. If you don’t mark the “YES” box, your agent will not have that power.
If you want this to be a limited power of attorney, check the boxes only for the powers that you want to delegate. For instance, if you want your agent to handle your banking affairs, but nothing else, check the box for banking and leave all the others blank. If you want your agent to only do a specific task, you can write that specific task in category O. For example, if you wanted your agent to sell your baseball card collection, but not any of your other personal property, do not check the box for item (B) Transactions involving tangible personal property, chattels, and goods. Instead, list selling the baseball cards under category O. So, if you wanted your agent to handle your banking and sell your baseball card collection, but nothing else, Section 3 would look like this:
Section 4 – Granting Specific Authority - Optional
Section 4 is an optional section. It lists some very specific powers that an agent typically does not have. For instance, retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401 (k) plan typically have a form in which the owner names a person or persons to receive money in the account when he or she dies. That isn’t something most folks want an agent to change. However, if you do want your agent to have that power, you need to mark the appropriate box in this section. Also note that if you want your agent to be able to make gifts using your resources, this is the section that allows that. Just like section 3, checking the box gives your agent that authority; leaving it blank means the agent does not have that authority.