How to Get Power of Attorney in New Mexico

Stamp that is used by a notary public
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An individual can name another person or business to make decisions on their behalf in a power of attorney (POA) document, if in the event they cannot manage their own financial or health care affairs due to incapacitation by illness or disability in the future.

Anyone can create a POA for little to no money by downloading a template online. New Mexico requires its signing before a notary public, who will charge a small fee for their services.

New Mexico Laws About Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) document gives a designated person the authority to manage another individual's financial, legal or medical affairs if they should suffer a permanent illness or disability or they cannot be present to sign documents.

This designated person is called an agent or attorney-in-fact. The agent acts on behalf of the individual, known as the principal, and may have broad or limited powers when carrying out tasks.

Ending a Power of Attorney

POAs can end for various reasons:

  • Principal revokes the agreement they have with the agent.
  • Principal dies.
  • Court invalidates the

Power of Attorney

document when the agent can no longer act on behalf of the principal. * Principal is married to the agent, and they separate or divorce.

Choosing an Agent

A POA gives the agent authority over the principal's financial or medical affairs. The person chosen by the principal to be their agent should be someone that is trustworthy and acts in the principal's best interest. An agent can be a friend, a family member, or a bank or corporation.

The agent should live reasonably near to the principal, particularly if they handle that person's day-to-day business affairs. They should be organized, level-headed and have the ability to think clearly when in stressful situations. The principal should name someone that they know wants to be their agent, as the responsibilities may be challenging.

Types of Powers of Attorney in New Mexico

In New Mexico, most estate plans include these POAs:

  • Financial

Power of Attorney

that allows an agent to handle the principal's financial or business matters.

  • Healthcare

Power of Attorney

that allows the agent to make medical and health care decisions on the principal's behalf.

New Mexico combines a healthcare POA with a living will in one document known as an advance health care directive.

A Power of Attorney can be one of several types:

  • General

Power of Attorney

: Gives the agent all the powers the principal has, including the right to pay the principal's bills, conduct financial transactions and sign documents. It ends upon the principal's incapacitation or death.

  • Limited

Power of Attorney

grants the agent specific power for a limited period of time, ending when the transaction is complete.

  • Springing

Power of Attorney

: Grants the agent all the powers the principal has, but goes into effect only when the principal becomes incapacitated.

Cost of Creating and Recording a POA in New Mexico

A principal can create a durable POA for finances or healthcare for little to no charge. New Mexico offers POA forms online. But parties can work with their local legal aid office to get one, and several third-party legal websites provide POA templates for under $50.

The principal will also pay for the notary, but their services are inexpensive. Notarial acts in New Mexico usually cost around $5. Remote online notarization (RON) in the state is about $25. Notaries that travel to clients incur additional travel fees; New Mexico notaries ask their clients to pay $0.30 per mile in this instance.

POA Requirements in New Mexico

New Mexico residents who wish to create a POA must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. The principal must sign the POA in the presence of a notary public. The state does not require witnesses, but having them may strengthen the document's validity. Forms are available online for the type of POA the principal wishes to create. After creating the POA, the principal should store it in a safe location.

The principal should also give a copy of their POA to:

  • Their agent to familiarize them with the POAs contents.
  • County land records office, part of the county clerk's office, if the principal gives the agent the authority to conduct real estate transactions. Having the POA on file allows the clerk to recognize the agent's authority to mortgage, sell or transfer real estate for the principal.
  • Financial institutions that the agent may need to transact with in the future.

Revoking Power of Attorney in New Mexico

The principal can revoke a POA for a number of reasons, including:

  • Principal is no longer incapacitated and can make their own decisions.
  • Principal no longer trusts their agent.
  • Principal has found another party more suited to act as their agent.
  • Agent may have moved, died or is no longer in their circle of relatives or friends.
  • Purpose of the POA has been fulfilled, and the agent is no longer needed.

The principal can revoke their POA at any time as long as they are of sound mind. The revocation must be in writing and signed in a notary's presence. If the principal recorded the POA, its revocation must also be recorded. The principal should give a copy of the revocation to any person or business it affects, such as doctors, banks and stockholders.