Durable Power of Attorney Forms
A durable Power of Attorney form (DPOA) is a legal document that an individual can fill out to give control of their assets or responsibilities to another individual. The person who creates the form and wishes to transfer authority is called the ‘principal.’ The person who receives the authority is called the ‘agent’ or the ‘attorney-in-fact.’
How to Obtain a Durable Power of Attorney
Durable power of attorney forms are highly useful for newcomers to this process. However, before you get started, it is advisable to discuss your estate planning needs with an attorney so they can recommend the right type of power of attorney for you. Here are some points to consider while obtaining a durable power of attorney.
1. Choose a trustworthy attorney-in-fact
The agent for a DPOA must be trustworthy and a confidante of the principal. Before picking an agent, you should have an open conversation with them about your expectations from them.
You might also need a backup agent if your primary agent backs out or chooses not to perform tasks on your behalf. Remember, the court cannot force someone to act on your behalf.
2. Access the form
Use our DPOA generator to help start your document. The printable form template should be in PDF, DOC, or ODT formats to be valid in your state. It is advisable to keep three copies of the template handy.
3. Enlist authorities and specify the time
As mentioned earlier, you will have to specify or list down your agent’s scope of authority should your cognitive or physical functioning start to decline. You can have multiple agents and fill out different DPOAs according to the specificity of the delegation of powers.
You will also need to specify whether the DPOA will be effective from the moment you sign it or from when you are formally diagnosed as incapacitated by a registered physician.
4. Notarized and signed
Get the form ready for signage by checking the state requirements. Check the table below to understand each state’s minimum requirements for the validity of a DPOA. Signing requirements depend on where the principal resides.
Here is an example of how one could sign:
[Principal’s full legal name] by [Your full legal name] acting as Attorney in Fact.
5. Storing the document
Keep the form in a safe place, and ensure your lawyer or a trusted friend or family member is privy to its location.