Free Durable Power Of Attorney Form What the Heck is it?
Are you ready for the free durable power of attorney form? What is it?
Before you start that early morning fishing trip, give this some idea some thought.
Do you have everything you need to fill out this free form?
I had a moment of insight while visiting with a friend this week. She shared her story about a relative who was retired and widowed.
The relative had a heart issue condition develop. No one can find the forms that the relative had told other family members she had completed.
The family assumed that they were all signed. Just waiting for her or someone to be able to put hands on when needed.
A niece in the family group had been given permission to enter the home of the relative. She was to pick up these documents that were filled out, signed, and ready to present. They had just put away for safe keeping.
So, to be clear with this story, the health problems have incapacitated the relative. She has been transferred to another hospital. Now is in acute care, not even aware of what is going on around her. Her future all but nonexistent.
The documents have not been located. The family is at loss to intervene for her.
The hospital is under obligation to continue to try everything to “save” her.
Both of this relative’s siblings are dealing with health issues that have them unable to be there for her.
She has a niece who goes by as often as she can. She, of course, has obligations of her own, as well as working full time.
Is there anything she can do for her aunt when there?
No there is not. Until the documents can be found. The ones that are needed to put an end to this cycle of extreme treatments.
This relative will have to endure the whole thing. She had talked about having the medical power of attorney to her siblings. She said that she had made her wishes knows with a living will. However, nothing can be found.
The end result is the family is helpless. She did not want any of the extreme methods used. She had repeatedly expressed the desire to be allowed to pass on without all the extended procedures.
So, at the time I heard the story, this lady has been in this condition for about 5 weeks. The family dealing with undue stress because of being helpless.
She just did not follow through with getting her documents to a location to be able to use when needed. This brings home to me the necessity of making copies and letting your family and loved ones know where those copies are.
There should be copies available in more than one place. In this day and age of technology, getting copies of important documents is easy enough. Putting them where they can be easily found and used when needed?
Apparently, this is more important than I realized. Where to put these documents will be in next weeks chapter of this journey.
What is the next step
So in addition to deciding how and what. One should put some thought into storage locations. This is not to be taken lightly, or ignored. For me, I now understand how you can cause problems for yourselves through lack of knowledge.
Had the relative known the importance of someone knowing where they are, things might have been different. For all of them.
Preparing and storing
So as I look at the options for preparing the free online durable power of attorney form?
The importance of copies and getting them to those who might need them is how you need to finish the process. Each state has its’ own rules. This link will explain more about that.
- To get your financial paperwork completed.
- Stored in a central location.
Let’s look at the free durable power of attorney form itself. What does it look like?
As well as, what you need to have ready. Yes, these are important. I do not want to cause my loved ones any undue stress. Just because I did not attend to business.
Plus, I now know better, and so do you. So go in and set down at your desk and get started. Make a list of names you want to include. This link will take you to a Free Download source.
Preparing this free durable power of attorney form
On the form itself, you will need to fill in your name and address. This is to identify yourself if this form is ever needed. To state that you are of sound mind, and able to sign such a document. That you know you are signing this form, and why.
At this point, you will need only your name and address. Plus the name and address of the person you are appointing as your representative.
This person will be acting for you. When? Should you not be able to make decisions about your finances or health. Should you become incapable. There should be a blank spot for their name and address as well. Fill them in.
The decision should be made with the knowledge of the appointee. With their willing participation. The courts will not force the appointed person to perform these duties against their will.
Of course, you should also name a backup appointee. The backup persons’ identification, should your first appointee be unable or unwilling, to perform the duties needed.
You will need to list the relationship of the person to you. This is to assure the courts of the person’s relationship to you, should there be a question.
The clearer you make these documents? Will mean less hassle when the appointee is acting in your behalf. So do not make these decisions too quickly, or without their knowledge.
Usually, a husband will name the wife, if married. And the wife will name the husband. So both need to have a document, for themselves.
This will make the process flow smoother. Without having to wait for court action should both spouses be unable to perform.
This will leave the spouse who is able to do these things with the ability to move forward. taking care of the legal action that will need to be done.
The next section gives the appointee the power to act on your behalf. This person can do anything with your finances that you can do.
- They can open checking accounts, close accounts
- Move savings accounts around
- Disperse as needed, or desired
- They can remove people’s signature rights
- Keep them from having access to any account
- Even you
- While you are still able
- They can sign tax returns or refund checks
- They have the ability to do whatever that appointee deems necessary or desired.
This is a consideration to make with some forethought. The responsibility for the appointee is to act in a reasonable manner. One that would conform with your wishes were you able to do these duties.
If you wish to have limitations to the powers of this person? This needs to be taken care of on the document. There is a place for putting limitations on the appointees’ powers later in the document.
Don’t forget to do so if any limitations are wanted.
Maybe you want both your representatives to have to sign any bill of sale on any real estate property.
However, you are OK with this person having the ability to sign a check.
Yes, will need some thought for this.
In thinking about my personal situation, I am not sure of the limitations I would want to put in place.
Would I want to have the ability to sell any property? This only makes sense, but for the whole estate?
Will have to give this more thought. Having been one of the appointees on our parent’s power of attorney, we did not have the issues to arise for us.
Our parents had prepared the way, made it simple to follow through. My sibling and I as the appointees were only there to enable a few transfers of cash or savings. An easy enough chore to perform.
The section declaring that you are aware of what you are doing. That you are aware of the power you are allotting your designee.
The next section states that you know you are giving the appointee the powers.
You know this power will be effective before you are incapacitated, or unable to act for yourself. When the free durable power of attorney is completed, this appointee can act immediately.
This part made me stop and think
With your signature and notarization, this is a legal and binding document.
There are limitations of powers to be decided. If there are any, that you want to not allow or limit? Just strike (mark) through the powers you are not granting. This will void that right.
As well, there will be a small section to reassure 3rd parties. That your appointee is acting on your behalf and has been granted this ability.
Next, there is a statement that this is the document with the power to act on your behalf. Any prior documents are now void and no longer legal.
The next sections discuss the courts that have a say, should a dispute arise over any action taken by an appointee.
The notarization needed section
This is the part of the document states the need to have the document notarized. To be legal two witnesses must observe you signing the document and sign the part stating this fact.
These 2 people must be uninterested and unaffected by the results of this document. This is usually done by co-workers of the person notarizing the document.
How to take away the power of these documents
At the bottom. there is a short section telling you how to take away these powers. As long as you are able to do so, being of sound mind, you can take all the powers away as well.
An overview, or summary
So there you have an overlook at the document to make things run smoother should you need someone to act on your behalf.
This is the one we all should have. You must realize the responsibilities that are being transferred by this document.
If your situation is fairly simple, this document should not be very expensive to have prepared.
Should You Do it yourself?
Apparently, you can get a free durable power of attorney form online.
Print it out.
Take to have it notarized, and be legal. If there are no problems within the family, this may work well for you.
Is this Free Durable Power Of Attorney Form for you?
However, is there is any special situation in the family group? A child who is argumentative, and does not tend to get along with his siblings. A blended family? A common law relationship? An especially “needy” adult child?
Covering all legal questions and getting these answers will make legal fees a good investment. You can keep the fees more reasonable by having a form filled out and ready to discuss with your legal representative.
Yes, this needs to be done.
The necessity for this precaution is apparent even to me.
What about you? The old days of thinking a good friends’ word is good enough are gone. We felt comfortable that the laws were to protect us and ours.
We now know that the laws are there, but can be altered should the wrong situation develop.
Thinking this through
Our last wishes for the time we can no longer take care of our own legal and financial business? Simply that we want to move forward with our lives as much as possible as planned.
Not having to sell the house to satisfy claims for the surviving heir’s claims.
However, the provisions need to be in place to protect those claims later on.
Man, life is crazy, isn’t it? Since you can’t change this, guess you best figure out how to make it work well for you. How this can fit your needs.
Goes without Saying
Important medical disclaimer.
I am not a Doctor, Lawyer, or Investment advisor.
I am simply a fellow traveler on this road through retirement.
Here, I share what I have found through actual practice or through a stumbling effort to improve myself.
Your results, should you adopt one of my suggestions will probably be 100 times better as you are probably a much stronger person than I am.
This retirement stuff is hard! Retirement would be a challenge even if it did not involve the aging process.
We have to work together to make the best of it! Lifetime habits, good and bad, accompany us on this journey we are on. We sometimes are not aware of how we hinder ourselves. My intent is to call attention to what I have found along the way that either teaches, warns, helps, or hinders me.
I hope you can learn, laugh, think about, and pick up a suggestion that will make things better for you. Sharing is how we do it. Do you have a suggestion that you can share? Please leave your comment.