New Hampshire financial power of attorney laws set forth the rules and limitations under which a person, known as the principal, may grant authority to another person, known as the agent, to act on their behalf. The agent acting for the principal can do whatever the principal has allowed her to do, as outlined in the power of attorney document. In New Hampshire, an agent may have broad authority that includes signing the principal's real estate deal papers and completing the principal's banking.
New Hampshire provides a statutory format for powers of attorney, but a principal doesn't have to use the exact same wording. New Hampshire with consider a power of attorney valid as long as the document has wording similar to the statutory format. The principal must sign the power of attorney but isn't required to have it notarized unless the agent will sell or buy real estate for the principal. The principal doesn't need witnesses or the agent to sign the power of attorney.
Even under a broad power of attorney, an agent can't give gifts for the principal unless the power of attorney document permits gift-giving and the gift won't make the principal reliant on public assistance or charity. An agent can't give herself any of the principal's property unless the power of attorney allows such gifts.
While a power of attorney usually ends as soon as the principal dies, New Hampshire laws create special circumstances for armed forces members. Actions taken by an agent after a principal in the armed forces has died are still valid, as long as the agent didn't know the principal died.
Read More: Can a Power of Attorney Be Revoked by a Mentally Incompetent Principal?
Disability or Incompetence of Principal
An agent keeps her authority if the principal becomes disabled or incompetent as long as the power of attorney includes a statement to that effect. Anything the agent does during the principal's incompetency or disability must be treated by other parties as if the principal is of sound mind and body. However, if a guardian or conservator is appointed to take care of the principal, the agent must account to the guardian or conservator for her actions. A guardian or conservator has the right to revoke or suspend the power of attorney on behalf of the principal.
If a principal becomes disabled or incapacitated and an agent without authority still acts, the agent isn't liable if she didn't know about the principal's change in condition.
A person other than the principal may challenge the agent's authority or a specific act by the agent in court. State law allows people involved with the principal, such as a relative or caregiver, to file an action against the agent for various reasons related to the power of attorney. For example, if a relative believes the agent has committed fraud, he can file a petition in the county probate or superior court to end the agent's authority.
Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.