Like other states, New Mexico law allows you to exercise control over another person's property and finances through the use of a legal document called a power of attorney. You can get a power of attorney from another person, such as an elderly family member, by following the requirements of New Mexico law. A valid power of attorney must be in writing and voluntarily signed by the person granting the power. The person's signature must be notarized. A person must be at least 18 years old to grant a power of attorney. If you want to get powers over health decisions, you must use an Advance Health Care Directive.
Talk to the person whom you want to assist in managing personal property and finances about the benefits of a power of attorney. Specifically identify the area where you believe he could use your assistance, such as making bank deposits, paying monthly bills and tending to day to day living needs. Confirm that he agrees with you about the need for a power of attorney and is willing to sign the appropriate document.
Locate a power of attorney form that is authorized for use in New Mexico. The legislature has enacted laws regarding an approved form, set forth in the New Mexico Code, Chapter 46B, Section 1-301. Forms are also available from online legal document providers.
Prepare the power of attorney form by inserting the required information. You will need basic identifying information -- i.e. name and address -- for yourself and the person granting the power of attorney. You must also indicate on the form the property subject to the power, such as real property, personal property or bank accounts. The form also identifies eight specific powers not granted to you by the power of attorney, unless the form specifically indicates these powers are being granted. Such powers include making a living trust and delegating authority under the power of attorney to another person.
Obtain the services of a notary public to notarize the signature of the person granting the power of attorney. Under New Mexico law, a notarized signature on a power of attorney is presumed to be valid.
A power of attorney always ends when the person granting the power dies. A non-durable power of attorney will end if the grantor is subsequently judged incompetent or incapacitated. A durable power of attorney ends only when the grantor dies or revokes it.
A power of attorney can be revoked at any time, so long was the person who granted the power is competent to do so.
A power of attorney over another person’s property and finances is an important responsibility. You are considered an attorney-in-fact for the other person and you have a duty to act in his best interest, not your own. You should keep a written record of all transactions you engage in using the power of attorney and be ready to provide an accounting when asked to do so. You can be held liable for damages for any improper use of the power of attorney.