A power of attorney is a legal document used to give another party control over your personal affairs. A limited power of attorney may give control only in certain instances or over certain aspects of your life; financial and health decisions are the most common. People may give a full power of attorney when planning for a time when they will not be capable of making sound decisions. Giving another person control over your personal affairs is relatively easily, although you should not do this lightly.
Obtain a customizable power of attorney document. Many lawyers provide templates for little or no cost. You may also be able to obtain the paperwork from your bank or insurance company.
Fill out the document. You will need to provide your full name and address as well as the information of the person you are giving power of attorney too. You will also have to list, in a detailed fashion, what decisions the other party can make. Information concerning when the power of attorney takes effect and when it ends will also be included.
Have a lawyer look over the document. He will be able to confirm that you filled out the document properly, helping to protect your best interests. The lawyer will also be able to warn you about any loopholes and help you alter wording in the power of attorney, if needed.
Sign the power of attorney in front of a notary public. You and the person or company you are giving power of attorney to will both need to do this. If possible, each of you should sign two or three identical copies, so you both have originals. Many courthouses, departments of motor vehicles and other individuals provide notary services. In many cases, you will be able to find one near you by looking in your local phone book.
Make copies of the power of attorney for your records and those of the person you are entering into the agreement with.
Register the power of attorney with your local court. This is not necessary in many cases, especially for most limited powers of attorney. However, some states require that you register the power of attorney.