- Power of Attorney
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Prenuptial/Premarital Agreement: Agreement for people intending to marry that sets forth the distribution of assets (and debts) that will occur in the event of the parties’ divorce or death.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one individual will grant another legal authority to make decisions on their behalf in legal, financial, and business matters. Powers of Attorney may be limited or very broad in the rights granted.
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney
There are two essential elements of a valid power of attorney:
- Soundness of Mind: The person signing the document must be mentally competent (i.e., understand what is being signed and what it does). In addition, he or she must be acting by choice, without undue pressure from anyone.
- Witnesses: In most states, your signature on your power of attorney must be notarized, or at least two adults, unrelated to you and each other, and who are not named as the attorney-in-fact, must witness you sign the power of attorney.
General Power of Attorney: A General Power of Attorney document authorizes an individual (Agent or attorney-in-fact) to act on another’s (Grantor or Principal) behalf in legal, financial, and business matters.
Limited Power of Attorney: This Document allows a person individual (called the “Principal” or “Grantor”) to authorize someone else (called the “Attorney-in fact” or “Agent”) to act on his or her behalf. This document becomes effective immediately. The document author/grantor can decide whether it should be a durable or non-durable Power of Attorney.
Durable Power of Attorney Effective Immediately: A Durable Power of Attorney Effective Immediately should always be in writing and will allow the Grantor to authorize another individual (called the Agent or Attorney-in-fact) to make decisions and act on their behalf. Furthermore, the Durable Power of Attorney document will take effect as soon as it is signed and will remain in full force and effect even if the Grantor later becomes disabled or incapacitated.
Durable Power of Attorney Effective upon Disability: This document allows an individual (called the “Principal” or “Grantor to authorize someone else (called the “Attorney-in-fact” or “Agent”) to act on his or her behalf if the Principal becomes incapacitated.
Care of Children: Used when both parents wish to grant another party a Power of Attorney for the Care of their Children on a temporary basis for a limited amount of time.
Real Estate Sale: This Limited Power of Attorney for the Sale of Real Estate allows a mentally competent adult (who is called the “Principal” or “Grantor”) to authorize another person (called the “Agent” or “Attorney-In-Fact”) to act on his or her behalf in selling certain real estate as specified in the Limited Power of Attorney document. This particular Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately and remains effective until (a) the real estate is sold and the transaction is completed; or (b) in the event of death or incapacity of the Grantor; or (c) if the Grantor revokes the document (whichever occurs first).
Authorities for Durable Power of Attorney
You can give your attorney-in-fact as many or as few powers as you want. A power of attorney can authorize your agent to do any or all of the following on your behalf:
- Pay for support and care
- Borrow money
- Conduct banking transactions
- Manage property
- Handle legal claims
- Access safe deposit boxes
- Deal with insurance and retirement benefits
- Prepare and file tax returns
- Exercise stockholder rights
- Contract for services
- Make gifts
- Collect social security benefits
- Any other task allowed by law that you require
Revoking a Power of Attorney
You may revoke your power of attorney whenever you want, as long as you are mentally competent; unless the power of attorney has been made irrevocable (by its own terms or by some legal principle). This revocation should be in writing, signed by you in front of a notary public, and delivered to the attorney-in-fact and any third parties with whom your agent has been in contact (e.g., your bank). If you recorded your power of attorney at your county recorder’s office, you should record the revocation in the same place.
WILLS & ESTATES
Last Will & Testament
A Last Will is a legal document used to distribute personal property, real property, money, and particular items to the intended beneficiaries, specify funeral, burial, and other last wishes, and name guardians for minor children. It allows you to name an executor who will administer your estate and see that all the provisions and stipulations of your last wishes are carried out in an orderly fashion. Generally, for a will to be valid you must sign it in the presence of two witnesses who can attest to your signature.
A Living Trust is a legal document used to transfer property to beneficiaries. But unlike a last will, a living trust is not usually subject to probate court, which can take years and cost thousands in attorneys’ and court fees, so it helps to avoid the cost and delays of probate. It also may reduce certain estate taxes and Keep the details of your estate private.
Allows an individual to decide ahead of time what should be done for their health in the event they no longer can make decisions because of illness or incapacity. A Living Will can sometimes be part of an Advance Health Care Directive. It is not the same as a Health Care Power of Attorney which allows another person to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney for Health Care is extremely important should you be unable to make decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacity. This form allows a person (also known at the “principal”) to designate a trusted individual (family member or friend) as their “attorney in fact” (or “health care agent”) to make critical health care decisions on their behalf. The Principal can give specific instructions regarding their health care, including terminating care and ending life supports that are keeping a critically and terminally ill patient alive, opt to have their organs donated if they wish, and may designate a specific physician to have primary responsibility over their health care.
AFFIDAVIT & DECLARATIONS
An Affidavit is a written sworn statement about certain facts. The Affidavit allows the person that is making the sworn declaration (known as the Declarant) to make certain statements in written form under oath. The Declarant then signs the Affidavit and can also have it notarize
CHILD TRAVEL CONSENT
A Child Travel Consent is a document giving parental authorization for a minor child to travel. This form can be used when a child will either be traveling alone, or with another adult who is not their legal guardian, or with only one parent.
A Child Travel Consent is also known as:
- Travel Consent for a Minor
- Travel Permission Letter
- Letter of Consent to Travel
Do I Need a Child Travel Consent Form?
Parents and guardians may need to use a Child Travel Consent Form if:
- Their son or daughter is traveling abroad as part of a school trip.
- Their minor is traveling alone and will be taking a plane, train, or ship to their destination.
- They are the temporary caretaker of a minor and may travel during that time.
- Their child or minor will be traveling with friends or family members.
- They have shared custody of a minor (are a single parent) and only one parent or guardian will be traveling with the child.
What Should I Include in My Child Travel Consent Document?
A Child Travel Consent should include:
- Information about the minor, including their name, birth place, and passport information.
- Allergy and special needs information pertaining to the child.
- Information about the parent or guardian, including custody information, passport details, and their name.
- Information about the non-traveling parent or guardian, including their contact information.
- Travel information, such as the destination.
- Signing information for the party who is giving permission for the child to travel.
- A start and end date for the trip, to ensure that consent is temporary.
Do I Also Need a Child Medical Consent Form?
A Child Travel Consent form does not allow the parent or guardian to temporarily make medical decisions for your child or minor.
To give authority to the chaperone to make medical decisions in your stead, you will need to complete a Child Medical Consent form, which will detail authorized medical treatments, health information about the child, the identity of the person being granted responsibility, and other specific information.