Drafting a durable power of attorney in Mississippi authorizes another individual to act on your behalf. A power of attorney can be used in a variety of situations, for example, if you lose capacity to make decisions on your own behalf as a result of a medical condition, or you want someone to assist you with financial matters. Mississippi does not require you to use a particular form when drafting a power of attorney, but specific information should be included to make the document identifiable and enforceable.
Create a title for the document that makes it clear what the document purports to accomplish. For example, write “Mississippi Power of Attorney” across the top of the document. You may also want to underline or type the letters in bold so the purpose of the document will be obvious to anyone glancing at it.
Identify the parties involved. The individual creating the power of attorney is the “principal,” and the individual being granted the power of attorney is the “agent.” You may want to include the agent’s full name, address and phone number in the document.
List the powers being conveyed through the document. Use language clearly indicating that you are granting the power of attorney to the agent. For example, state that you appoint the agent to act on your behalf. In Mississippi, a power of attorney can be general or limited; the former allows an agent to act with broad powers on your behalf. In contrast, a limited power of attorney authorizes the agent to act in certain circumstances – for instance, if you become incapacitated. You also have the option of making the document effective immediately or effective upon the occurrence of an event. The power of attorney document should clearly indicate that the principal has the authority to revoke the power of attorney at any time.
Include the notice requirement in the document. This informs the principal and agent of the document’s legal effect and importance. For example, if the power of attorney is to be effective for medical decisions, the notice requirement will describe the situations in which the agent may act on the principal’s behalf. For more information, see Mississippi Code Section 41-41-163.
Go to a notary public to have the document notarized. Sign the power of attorney in the presence of two witnesses. The document should include a notary block where the notary can also sign the document. While it is not necessary to have a power of attorney notarized under Mississippi law, doing so will preclude legal challenges later on if any discrepancy arises as to whether the document is valid.
If you have any questions regarding the legal construction or effect of a power of attorney in Mississippi, contact a licensed Mississippi attorney.
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