A Power of Attorney document is a legal form that enables an individual (called “the principal”) –in this case, YOU– to appoint someone you choose (called “the agent”) to act on your behalf. The legal instrument can give authorization to act in property, financial or other legal matters and may be limited or broad in authority. This document is often prepared when executing a will and health care proxy as part of an estate plan.
As your financial advisor, we at Hansen’s Advisory Services must exercise the utmost care and caution in the acceptance of a power of attorney form. If the form was executed in the past six months and we are aware of the principal’s circumstances requiring the need for the power of attorney to act on his or her behalf, the document is considered to be in good order.
If it has been more than 6 months but less than 3 years, the agent will need to complete an additional form verifying that they are the authorized Power of Attorney. This form must be notarized.
If it has been more than 3 years, a new form should be executed. If that is not possible, a letter from a law firm attesting that the power of attorney is in full force and effect is required.
We suggest everyone have a will, power of attorney and health care proxy. These forms should be updated periodically, to remain current.