Powers of Attorney, aka,“POA”

Most people know the name of this document, but few understand the power it can wield and the myriad of issues that can arise from its improper use.  We have encountered countless misconceptions with regard to this document:  Some people think they can appoint themselves as agent and even sign for the principal (the person making the POA).  WRONG.  Some people think the person can sign the document and then they can take it somewhere to get it notarized. WRONG. Some people think that they can print out a garden-variety POA from online…or maybe even re-type one that their neighbor has…and this will work for them. (More than likely) WRONG.  Done correctly, a POA is an extremely effective tool to enable the Principal’s agent to continue to function with regard to financial obligations in the event the principal has any sort of event to prevent him from performing these functions himself.   But caution must be taken: The powers granted can be broad and so it is imperative that careful consideration be made to your choice of agent appointment as well as the breadth of powers you are granting.  A better option to generic or copied forms is to speak with an attorney first so all the ramifications of the agency are understood and the proper appointments made.