Step 1: Review it.
Before ever trying to use your power of attorney you should always have an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer review it. This is especially important if such a lawyer lawyer didn’t make it for you. No third party will honor a financial power of attorney if it doesn’t comply with state laws because they risk being held responsible if they do. Many boilerplate powers of attorney found in stores, on CDs or on the Internet are incomplete and defective and may not meet the legal requirements to be valid.
Step 2: Contact the third parties.
When you create a power of attorney you choose an agent, also known as an attorney-in-fact, who will represent you in your financial dealings with others. These other third parties are the ones your agent will have to convince in order to exercise his or her powers. In some situations, third parties may require you to take additional steps that, even though they are not legal requirements, are necessary before you can use a power of attorney.
Step 3: Prepare a Certification.
If you created your financial power of attorney that is more than a few months old, a third party that may be asked to accept the POA may ask the attorney in fact to sign an affidavit stating that the power of attorney is still in effect and is still valid. An experienced and qualified estate planning attorney can assist with this is needed.
Step 4: Make sure the agent has proper identification.
Your agent will have to prove his or her identity to third parties. Make sure the agent has identification that lists his or her name in the same manner in which you have printed it in the power of attorney document.
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