How to Become a Legal Representative

By Contributing Writer
A legal representative acts on behalf of another, generally a family member, in specified matters.

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When a family member or close friend requires you to represent him in real estate, financial or medical matters, you may become his legal representative. As someone's legal representative, you have the power to make official decisions on the person's behalf, based on what you believe the person would want. You can become a legal representative through careful discussions with the person you would represent and with the help of an attorney.

Talk with the person you would represent, understand her needs and work out with her the capacities in which you would represent her. If you would be representing your mother on medical matters, understand exactly what her health wishes are and which medical decisions should be made under which circumstances. If you are representing her in estate issues, understand her expectations for her property and finances. Becoming a legal representative requires knowing as much as possible what the person would want you to do in given circumstances, so you can make educated choices.

Ensure that your friend or family member wants you to become his legal representative. Remember that he will have to sign a legal document stating that you are to represent him.

Ask an attorney to draft a power of attorney letter that outlines your specific situation. While you can use free power-of-attorney forms found online, having an experienced attorney draft such a letter enables you to have the letter tailored to your specific needs. Tell the attorney about the exact matters that you will handle as the person's legal representative.

Sign the power of attorney form and have the person you will represent sign the form in front of a notary. Have the notary sign and notarize the form. In some states, you may be required to file the document with a court. Consult your lawyer for information on your state's practice.

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