Power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual (known as the “Principal”) to select someone else (“Agent” or “Attorney-in-Fact”) to handle their business affairs, medical responsibilities, or any decision that requires someone else to take over an activity based on the Principal’s best interest and intentions. The form is required (depending on the State) to be signed in the presence of a Notary Public or Witness(es).

Table of Contents

 

Power of Attorney Forms: By State

 

Power of Attorney Forms: By Type (9)

Durable ($) Power of Attorney – To grant power to bank accounts, real estate, and any other financial-related acts. The powers are durable which means the form remains valid even if the principal should become mentally incompetent.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx)

General ($) Power of Attorney – Grants identical financial powers as the durable version. Although, the general power of attorney is no longer valid if the principal becomes mentally incompetent.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx)

IRS Power of Attorney (Form 2848) – To hire or allow someone else to file federal taxes to the Internal Revenue Service on your behalf.

Download: Adobe PDF

Limited Power of Attorney – For any non-medical power. This is common for one-time instances such as picking up mail, borrowing a vehicle, or staying at someone else’s home.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.doc)

Medical Power of Attorney – Referred to as an “Advance Directive” which allows someone to act as a health care surrogate and make decisions based on the patient’s wishes.

Download: Adobe PDF

Parental (Minor) Power of Attorney – To give health and educational powers to someone else over the caretaking of one’s child.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx)

Real Estate Power of Attorney – For the buying, selling, renting, or occupying someone else’s property.

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx)

Revocation Power of Attorney – To cancel or void a power of attorney document.

Download: Adobe PDF

State Tax Power of Attorney – Just like IRS Power of Attorney except for State Tax purposes. Elect someone else to handle the filing of personal and corporate tax records to the State’s Dept. of Revenue.

How to Get Power of Attorney (5 Steps)

An individual may get power of attorney for any type in five (5) easy steps:

Step 1 – Choose an Agent

Select and ask someone that you trust if they would like to be your “Agent” or “Attorney-in-Fact”. Especially for a durable power of attorney, the agent selected should be someone you have trusted most of your life.

Step 2 – Select Your Power of Attorney

Choose from one of the following eight (8) types:

  • Durable ($) – Financial only. Remains in-effect if the Principal becomes *incapacitated.
  • General – Financial only. It does not remain in effect if the Principal becomes *incapacitated.
  • IRS (2848) – Federal tax filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Limited – Special activity or task.
  • Medical – Health care decision-making only. It becomes active only when the Principal becomes *incapacitated.
  • Parental – Minor’s education, health, and everyday care. Most States limit this to a maximum of one (1) year.
  • Real Estate – Sale, purchase, or maintaining the property. Mostly used for real estate closings.
  • Revocation – To terminate or cancel a current power of attorney document.

*Incapacitation is defined as not being able to make rational and cognitive decisions knowing full-well of the consequences of such decided actions.

Step 3 – Signing Requirements

After completing, you and the Agent(s) selected will need to check the bottom of the form for the requirements for authorization. In most cases, a Notary Public will need to be used or Two (2) Witnesses.

STATE DURABLE GENERAL MEDICAL MINOR (CHILD) REAL ESTATE TAX VEHICLE
Alabama Notary Public Notary Public 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Alaska Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Arizona Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public or 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness Principal Only Notary Public
Arkansas Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Principal Only
California Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Principal Only Principal Only
Colorado Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only (Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Recommended) Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Connecticut Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only Notary Public and 2 Witness
Delaware Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness N/A Notary Public
Florida Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only Principal Only
Georgia Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public and 1 Witness Principal Only (Notary Public and 2 Witnesses in Certain Circumstances) Notary Public
Hawaii Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal and Representative Notary Public
Idaho Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Illinois Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness 1 Witness 1 Witness (Only in Certain Circumstances) Notary Public and 1 Witness Principal and Representative (Witness or Notary Public in Certain Circumstances) Principal Only
Indiana Notary Public Notary Public 1 Witness Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Iowa Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Kansas Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal and Representative Principal Only
Kentucky Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only Notary Public
Louisiana Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only Notary Public and 2 Witnesses
Maine Notary Public Notary Public 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only N/A
Maryland Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only Principal Only
Massachusetts Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only (Notary Public or 2 Witnesses in Certain Circumstances) N/A
Michigan Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Principal Only Principal Only
Minnesota Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 1 Witness 2 Witnesses Notary Public Principal Only N/A
Mississippi Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only Notary Public
Missouri Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Montana Notary Public Notary Public 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Nebraska Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Nevada Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public N/A Notary Public
New Hampshire Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only (2 Witnesses in Certain Circumstances) Notary Public
New Jersey Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public Principal and Representative Notary Public
New Mexico Notary Public Notary Public 2 Witnesses (Optional) Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
New York Notary Public Notary Public 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only (Notary Public or 2 Witnesses in Certain Circumstances) N/A
North Carolina Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
North Dakota Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Prinipal Only N/A
Ohio Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Notary Public
Oklahoma Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only N/A
Oregon Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only Principal Only
Pennsylvania Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only N/A
Rhode Island Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses N/A
South Carolina Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal Only N/A
South Dakota Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public
Tennessee Notary public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Principal and Representative Notary Public
Texas Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses 2 Witnesses Notary Public Principal Only Principal Only
Utah Notary Public Notary Public 1 Witness Notary Public Notary Public Principal Only N/A
Vermont Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness 2 Witnesses Parents Only Notary Public and 1 Witness Notary Public and 1 Witness N/A
Virginia Notary Public Notary Public 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Principal and Representative Principal Only
Washington Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Principal Only N/A
West Virginia Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public and 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notarty Public
Wisconsin Notary Public Notary Public 2 Witnesses Notary Public (Witness Optional) Notary Public Principal Only N/A
Wyoming Notary Public Notary Public Notary Public or 2 Witnesses Notary Public Notary Public N/A N/A

 

Step 4 – Holding and Accessing Original Copies

It is important for all parties involved to have copies of their form. A power of attorney does not need to be recorded with any government office and is primarily held by the Principal and Agent(s).

Step 5 – Cancelling Power of Attorney

A Principal may terminate this arrangement by signing a Revocation Form. Otherwise, it will only cancel upon the death of the Principal.

 

Why Have Power of Attorney?

Accidents happen. Any person who should become incapacitated through an accident or illness would need to make arrangements beforehand for their financial and medial affairs.

Financial Affairs 

A durable or general power of attorney allows for any type of financial transaction to be handled by someone else. The financial transactions include, but are not limited to,

  • Real Property;
  • Personal Property;
  • Stocks and Bonds;
  • Commodities and Options;
  • Bank Accounts;
  • Business Entity;
  • Insurance and Annuities;
  • Estates and other Beneficial Interests;
  • Claims and Litigation;
  • Taxes; and
  • Retirement Plans.

Medical Affairs

An advance directive, referred to as a “living will” or “medical power of attorney”, lets someone else handle health care decisions on someone else’s behalf and in-line with their wishes. These powers include:

  • Everyday medical decision-making;
  • End-of-life decisions;
  • Donation of organs;
  • The nomination of a Conservator; and
  • Autopsy authorizations.

Other Instances

For other nominations, a principal may assign power of attorney under a special circumstance with the limited form. In addition, if the principal is looking to have someone only handle personal and business filings the tax power of attorney should be used.