Updated on April 11th, 2023

Free Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Forms

A durable power of attorney allows you to handle another person’s financial decisions on their behalf. All decisions made must be to the benefit of the person being represented. The one thing about the durable form that separates it from the rest is that it remains legal in the event the person being represented can no longer think for themselves.

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Durable Power of Attorney Forms – By State

Table of Contents

What is Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a designation that is given to someone else to be able to handle financial transactions on their behalf. The term “durable” means that if the principal would become incapacitated or no longer be able to think for themselves that the form would remain valid and in effect (unlike general power of attorney).

Once durable power of attorney is made the only way to cancel is by:

  • Authorizing a revocation;
  • Authorizing a new durable power of attorney; or
  • Death by the principal.

After a revocation has been signed or a new durable power of attorney is authorized the agent should be made aware of the termination. If after being notified, the agent remains acting on behalf of the principal, the agent would be considered engaging in illegal activity.

How to Get Durable Power of Attorney?

In order to have someone else be able to represent one’s financial best interests, they will need the following:

  • A durable power of attorney document;
  • Someone that can be trusted; and
  • A notary public to witness the signatures.

Afterward, the agent will be required to present the completed and signed power of attorney document whenever it’s being used.

Step 1 – Select Someone You Trust

When creating a power of attorney form, it’s important to think of someone that you trust to be the one to act as your financial representative (known as an “Agent” or “Attorney-in-Fact”). This person should be responsible and know the inner workings of your financial goals and strategy in the chance you are no longer to speak for yourself and the person selected has to make decisions solely on their own.

You can also select, depending on the State, up to two (2) alternate/successor agents that are only allowed to come in and act if the original agent selected is not available. Under a durable power of attorney, two (2) or three (3) agents working together is forbidden. Only one (1) agent may be able to make decisions at a time with that agent having full control and decision-making powers as listed in the signed document.

Step 2 – Deciding the Agent’s Powers

The agent that is selected can have very simple and basic powers, such as having the rights to pick up mail, to wide-ranging powers like having complete control over all the facets of the principal’s financial assets. It’s recommended that if an agent is to have such powers that they are the same person that is listed as a beneficiary in the principal’s last will and testament. In that case, if the agent makes a financial move that hurts the principal’s overall value, it will also affect the agent.

Step 3 – Complete the Document

It’s important to go over and complete the document with the agent. There are other powers and selections that the agent should be made aware of such as:

  • When the document begins;
  • Fiduciary duties;
  • If the agent can be paid or reimbursed for their duties;
  • If the form remains in effect upon disability; and
  • Any other special instructions for the agent.

After the document is complete, it’s common for the principal and agent also complete a Medical Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney is only for financial-related acts, while the medical also allows the agent to make health care decisions if the principal cannot speak for themselves.

Step 4 – Signing the Document

The document is required to be signed in accordance with State law which usually requires the principal and agent signing in the presence of a notary public. In some States, only witnesses are required and in others witnesses and a notary public.

Signing Requirements – By State

  • AL – Notary Public
  • AK – Notary Public
  • AZ – Notary Public and One (1) Witness
  • AR – Notary Public
  • CA – Notary Public or Two (2) Witnesses
  • CO – Notary Public
  • CT – Notary Public and Two (2) Witnesses
  • DE – Notary Public and One (1) Witness
  • FL – Notary Public and Two (2) Witnesses
  • GA – Notary Public and One (1) Witness
  • HI – Notary Public
  • ID – Notary Public
  • IL – Notary Public and One (1) Witness
  • IN – Notary Public and One (1) Witness
  • IA – Notary Public
  • KS – Notary Public
  • KY – Notary Public
  • LA – No Statutory Requirement
  • ME – Notary Public
  • MD – Notary Public and Two (2) Witnesses
  • MA – No Statutory Requirement
  • MI – Notary Public or Two (2) Witnesses
  • MN – Notary Public
  • MS – No Statutory Requirement
  • MO – Notary Public
  • MT – Notary Public
  • NE – Notary Public
  • NV – Notary Public
  • NH – Notary Public
  • NJ – Notary Public
  • NM – Notary Public
  • NY – Notary Public
  • NC – Notary Public
  • ND – Notary Public
  • OH – Notary Public
  • OK – Two (2) Witnesses
  • OR – No Statutory Requirement
  • PA – Notary Public and Two (2) Witnesses
  • RI – Notary Public or Two (2) Witnesses
  • SC – Notary Public and Two (2) Witnesses
  • SD – Principal Only
  • TN – No Statutory Requirement
  • TX – Notary Public
  • UT – Notary Public
  • VT – Notary Public and One (1) Witness
  • VA – Notary Public
  • WA – Notary Public or Two (2) Witnesses
  • WV – Notary Public
  • WI – Notary Public
  • WY – Notary Public

Step 5 – Using the Form

In order for the agent to properly act in the presence of the principal, the form will be required to be presented in its original version or a clean copy. Once validated, the agent will be authorized to make decisions with all the powers as if the principal is the one making the decisions themselves.

If the agent is to sign legal documents on behalf of the principal, the agent would sign the principal’s name followed by the word “by” with the Agent’s signature followed by “acting as attorney-in-fact”.

Signing Example

“Jon Smith by Patty Smith Acting as Attorney in Fact”

Durable Power of Attorney Laws – By State

Examples of Use

Examples of monetary decisions include handling of:

  • Banking Deposits and Withdrawals
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Mail (Including Picking up from P.O Boxes)
  • Automobile Purchases and Sales
  • Choosing Retirement Plans
  • Paying State and Federal Taxes (Although the 2848 form may also be needed)
  • And any other transaction legal in the State where the form is being used.

Sample Durable Power of Attorney

Download (PDF, 287KB)

How to Write a Durable Power of Attorney

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx)

1 – Delegate Your Principal Power To An Agent Using This Form

The paperwork on this page can by selecting the PDF or Microsoft Word Buttons near the preview image or the links above. Ideally, you will have the software environment to prepare the introduction onscreen. If not, you obtain a copy by opening the PDF version and using your browser to print it.

2 – Document Your Personal Information And Solidify The Agent’s Identity

This paperwork will open with a basic statement of declaration. The language here will allow the Principal to self-identify then name the Agent he or she authorizes to use principal power. Before attending to this task, we must first date this paperwork by filling in the calendar date that should be attached to this statement by recording the calendar day, month, and year on the first three blank spaces.

Next, this statement will need to identify the Principal of this document. To satisfy this requirement, enter your name on the blank space between the next blank space. In addition to your name, the second and third blank lines require the name of the city where you maintain your residence.

Finally, conclude this report by entering your state of residence on the sixth blank space.  Now, present the full name of the individual you wish to act as your Agent just before the term “My Attorney-in-Fact.” Continue this declaration by documenting the city and state where your Attorney-in-Fact resides on the last two blank spaces.

3 – Report When The Agent Will Be Authorized To Wield Your Authority

Once the introduction has been satisfied with the information it requests, it will be time to indicate when the authority you are delegating to the Attorney-in-Fact will become active. That is, when he or she will be able to act in your name. The section labeled “Effective Date” contains two statements each of which will describe a catalyst causing these powers to become effective. You, as the Principal, must choose one to apply to this document by initialing the blank space that precedes it. The first statement will declare the powers you grant the Attorney-in-Fact be set in place the moment you sign this completed paperwork and remain active regardless of your mental and physical health. If this statement is an accurate description of how you with this document to operate, then initial the blank space that precedes it. If you wish your Attorney-in-Fact to be restricted from wielding principal authority to act in your name unless you have been diagnosed (in writing) by a physician as being incapacitated or otherwise incapable of handling managing your finances, then initial the second statement.

4 – Review And Authorize The Ways You Wish The Agent To Act In Your Name

The “Powers Of Attorney-in-Fact” section of this document list the various fiduciary powers the Attorney-in-Fact may potentially use to act in your name. The Attorney-in-Fact will only be able to engage in the actions defined in a given statement on behalf of the Principal if that statement is initialed by the Principal. Thus, as the acting Principal named in this paperwork, read through each statement on this list carefully. If you determine a statement adequately describes what you would like your Attorney-in-Fact to do in your name, initial the blank space that precedes it. If you do not wish your Attorney-in-Fact to have the authority described in a statement, simply leave that statement unmarked. The Attorney-in-Fact will be authorized to perform “Banking” functions such as depositing and withdrawing funds in your name with financial institutions if you initial the blank space just before the label “Banking.” If you do not initial the blank space corresponding to this statement, then you Attorney-in-Fact will not possess the authority to perform any of the actions listed here. You can deliver the principal power to access and control the contents of your safe-deposit boxes to the Attorney-in-Fact you named above, if you initial the blank line just before the label “Safe Deposit Box.” To restrict the Attorney-in-Fact from exercising such authority with safe deposit boxes then do not initial the second statement. The third statement on this list, “Lending Or Borrowing,” delivers the principal power the Attorney-in-Fact requires to perform a range of actions that fall under this category. For instance, if you initial this statement, your Attorney-in-Fact will have the right to make loans, borrow money, obligate you to participate in a joint loan, make and deliver a promissory note in your name, etc. You can allow him or her to pursue some of these actions while placing a restriction on others by either crossing out/deleting the unwanted terms or stating your wishes in the “Special Instructions” area below this section. You can also forbid your Attorney-in-Fact from engaging in any of these actions by leaving the blank space preceding it blank. If you intend for the Attorney-in-Fact to be able to manage your “Government Benefits” by applying for them and even receiving them on your behalf (i.e. Social Security, Medicare) then initial the fourth statement in this list. If not, then you should leave this statement blank to withhold such authority from your Attorney-in-Fact’s use when representing you.  The “Retirement Plan” statement will give your Attorney-in-Fact the principal powers to handle certain actions with your retirement plans, including IRA’s, such as managing payment options, roll-overs, and benefits when you provide the corresponding blank line with your initials. It should be noted that the Attorney-in-Fact will not be allowed to decide or change beneficiaries through this statement, even if you do initial it and grant him or her the authority to engage in the above actions on your behalf. The next statement, titled “Taxes,” shall give your Attorney-in-Fact direct authorization to perform tax functions in your name and on your behalf. You must initial this statement to deliver such power in this document. Additionally, it is recommended you contact your local tax entity as additional paperwork may need to be filed separately with them.  The Attorney-in-Fact can be given the power to handle your affairs with “Insurance” entities. This will exclude the right to change beneficiaries however, he or she will be able to pay premiums, make claims, purchase new policies, and cancel new policies in your name if you initial the next statement. Keep in mind this type of authority will apply to all insurance entities so that the Attorney-in-Fact can manage life, health, automobile, and even health insurance policies on your behalf. If you wish to appoint your Attorney-in-Fact with the “Real Estate” powers necessary to use your name with real property, then initial the blank space just before the words “Real Estate.” Such authority will enable your Attorney-in-Fact to represent you when you wish actions such as acquiring, selling, or conveying real estate be carried out by him or her in your name. If the Attorney-in-Fact should not have this type of authority, then do not mark this space. The authority to act with your “Personal Property” can be delegated to the Attorney-in-Fact when you initial the ninth statement in this list. Notice this will cover a wide range of decision-making powers that will give your Attorney-in-Fact abilities such as acquiring, purchasing, exchanging, leasing, and granting options to “…Sell And Convey Personal Property.” Bear in mind this will include the ability to enter or terminate credit arrangements in your name. If you have no intention of allowing the Attorney-in-Fact to represent you in this manner then do not initial this statement. The same “Power To Manage Property” that you wield can be delegated to the Attorney-in-Fact when you place your initials on the tenth blank space of this list. This statement will also place a wide scope of principal powers within the Attorney-in-Fact’s abilities so that he or she can act in your name with tangible and intangible interests as well as real or personal property. If you do not wish to give the Attorney-in-Fact such management powers, then leave the empty line preceding it blank. The principal authority to make, grant or transfer “Gifts” in your name can be delegated to the Attorney-in-Fact through your initials. Place them on the line that precedes “Gifts” to delegate such principal powers to the Attorney-in-Fact or leave it blank to restrict him or her from engaging in this type of representation. Your Attorney-in-Fact can be given the authority to “…Obtain And Pay For Legal Advice…” as well as represent your interest with administrative proceedings aimed at you, if you initial the “Legal Advice And Proceedings” statement. The list above provides the language to handle most delegations of principal power, however, if there are additional provisions that should be attached to the power’s description, several blank lines have been included in the “Special Instructions” statement. Here, you may place any limitations, restrictions, circumstances, additions, or extensions to the principal powers you approved above. If you require more space to deliver such a report, then you may add more lines (using the appropriate software) or report them in an additional document that is physically attached to this one before you sign it. If there are no such additions or limitations, it is recommended you populate this area with the word “None” or something similar.

5 – You Must Sign This Paperwork To Put It In Effect

Before we finalize this paperwork, we must document where it will be effective. Locate the label “State Law” then supply the name of the state where this document will be in effect and governed on the blank line after the term “State Of” Now, you must date and sign this paperwork. Provide the calendar date of this document’s signing sing the three blank lines after the words “In Witness Whereof…” Sign the blank line labeled “Principal’s Signature”

The signature you provide must be proven as yours. To this end, you must sign this document before two Witnesses and a Notary Public. Once you sign this paperwork, relinquish it to the Witnesses. Each one will have to read the statement beneath your signature then supply his or her signature and address on the blank lines labeled “Witness’s Signature” an “Address” The final area of this document is reserved for the Notary Public serving this signing. He or she will supplement this area with the relevant facts and provide his or her credentials for the notary process.