Below are the free Power of Attorney forms that we currently offer. Check back with us soon to see the new Power of Attorney forms we’ve added.
Types of power of attorney
A power of attorney may be special or limited, general, or temporarily limited. A special power of attorney is limited to a specified act. A general power of attorney allows the agent to make all personal and business decisions on behalf of the grantor (or principal). A temporarily limited power of attorney has a limited time frame. If required, a durable power of attorney can be revoked or modified as long as the principal is mentally competent to act.
Durable power of attorney
Under the common law, a power of attorney becomes ineffective if its grantor dies or becomes incapacitated, which is generally interpreted to mean unable to grant such a power due to physical injury or mental illness. However, if the grantor (or principal) specifies that the power of attorney will continue to be effective after his or her incapacitation, then the power of attorney will continue. This type of power of attorney is called “power of attorney with durable provisions” in the United States. In other areas it’s called an enduring power of attorney. If so stated in a durable power of attorney, the authority of the attorney-in-fact to act and/or make decisions on behalf of the grantor continues until the grantor’s death.
Health care power of attorney
In certain circumstances, a durable power of attorney can also be a “health care power of attorney.” This particular affidavit gives the attorney-in-fact the authority to make health-care decisions for the grantor. This includes the decision to terminate care and life support. The grantor can typically modify or restrict the powers of the agent to make end-of-life decisions. In many jurisdictions a health care power of attorney is also referred to as a “health care proxy.”
Relationship with advance health care directive
In relation to the health care power of attorney, there is a separate document known as an advance health care directive. An advance health care directive is also called a “living will”. A living will is a written statement of a person’s health care and medical wishes but does not appoint a third party to make health care decisions. Depending upon the jurisdiction, a health care power of attorney may or may not appear with an advance health care directive in a single, physical document. The California legislature adopted a standard power of attorney for health care and advance health care directive form that meets all the legal wording requirements for a power of attorney and advance health care directive in that state. In comparison, New York state requires that a separate document be prepared, appointing a third party as the health care agent. Advance health care directives that are legal in all states are becoming more readily available online.
Springing power of attorney
In some states and other jurisdictions, it is possible to grant a springing power of attorney. This is a power that takes effect only after the incapacity of the grantor (or principal) or some other definite future act or event. After the grantor’s incapacitation, the power granted by the power of attorney is identical to a durable power, but it cannot be invoked before the incapacity. This contingent power may be used to allow a spouse or family member to manage the grantor’s affairs in the event of illness or injury that renders the grantor (or principal) unable to act.
Unless the power of attorney has been made irrevocable by its own terms or by some legal principle, the grantor may revoke the power of attorney by informing the attorney-in-fact that it is revoked. The grantor (or principal) must also inform related third parties that the power has been revoked.
Standardized forms are available for different types of powers of attorney. Many organizations provide them for their clients, customers, patients, employees, or members. The grantor should always exercise caution when using a standardized power of attorney form that was obtained from a source other than a lawyer. There are considerable variations in approved formats among the states. In some states statutory power of attorney forms are available.