Does a Durable Power of Attorney in Georgia Need to Be Witnessed?

03/29/2010 - Power of Attorney - State: GA #21587

Full Question:

I'm I required to have a witness present when I sign a durable Power of Attorney Form?

Answer:

In Georgia, a power of attorney that gives the agent the power to conduct financial transactions should be witnessed by two adult witnesses. At least one witness cannot be the Principal's spouse or blood relative. Please see the following GA statutes: 10-6-36. A written power of attorney, unless expressly providing otherwise, . . . . A written power of attorney, unless expressly providing otherwise, shall not be terminated by the incompetency or incapacity of the principal. The power to act as an attorney in fact for a principal who subsequently becomes incompetent or incapacitated shall remain in force until such time as a conservator or receiver shall be appointed for the principal or until some other judicial proceeding shall terminate the power. 10-6-141. The following explanation for principals may be used with the. . . . The following explanation for principals may be used with the Georgia Statutory Form for Financial Power of Attorney: EXPLANATION FOR PRINCIPALS WHAT IS A FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY? This document is called a "Financial Power of Attorney." It allows you to name one or more persons to help you handle your financial affairs. Depending on your individual circumstances, you can give this person or persons complete or limited power to act on your behalf. This document does not give someone the power to make medical decisions or personal decisions for you. WHAT CAN MY AGENT DO? The "Agent" is the person you give power to handle your financial affairs. The "Principal" is you. Your decision to use this document is a very important one and you should think carefully about what financial decisions you want your Agent to make for you. With this document, you can give your Agent the right to make all financial decisions or only certain, limited decisions. For example, you can allow your Agent to handle all your financial affairs, including the power to sell, rent, or mortgage your home, pay your bills, cash or deposit checks, buy and sell your stock, investments, or personal items, or you can allow your Agent to handle only certain or specific financial affairs such as to pay your monthly bills. DO I GIVE ALL MY POWERS AWAY? No. Even with this document, you can still handle your own financial affairs as long as you choose to or are able to. You need to talk to your Agent of ten about what you want and what he or she is doing for you using the document. If your Agent is not following your instructions or doing what you want, you may cancel or revoke the document and end your Agent's power to act for you. HOW DO I REVOKE MY FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY? You may revoke your financial power of attorney by writing a signed and dated revocation of power of attorney and giving it to your Agent. You should also give it to anyone who has been relying upon the financial power of attorney and dealing with your Agent, such as your bank and investment institutions. Unless you notify all parties dealing with your Agent of your revocation, they may continue to deal with your Agent. You should contact a lawyer if your Agent continues to act after you have revoked the power of attorney. WHEN DOES MY AGENT'S AUTHORITY END? As long as you are living, the financial power of attorney will remain in effect even if you become incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes unless: (1) A guardian is appointed for your property; or (2) You include a date or specific occurrence when you want your document to be canceled. However, upon your death or the death of your Agent or successor Agents, the document will be canceled and the Agent's power to act for you will end. You can also include a date or a specific occurrence like your incapacity or illness as the time when you want your document to be canceled and your Agent's power to act for you to end. WHEN DO THE POWERS TAKE EFFECT? Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to specify an occurrence or a future date for the document to become effective. Unless you do so, it becomes effective immediately. MUST MY AGENT DO THOSE THINGS I AUTHORIZE? No. But if your Agent accepts this responsibility and agrees to act for you, he or she is required to sign and date the "Acceptance of Appointment" contained in the financial power of attorney form. HOW DO I COMPLETE THIS DOCUMENT? Both the Principal and the Agent should read the full document carefully before initialing or signing. The Principal and the Agent should fully understand what powers are being granted to the Agent and what restrictions, if any, exist. Read each paragraph carefully. If you decide to give your Agent the power described in the paragraph, initial your name at the end of the paragraph. If you do not wish to give your Agent the power described in a paragraph, strike through and initial the paragraph or any line within a paragraph. HOW DO I EXECUTE THE DOCUMENT? Two adult witnesses must watch you sign your name on the document. At least one witness cannot be the Principal's spouse or blood relative. After they witness you signing your name, the witnesses must sign their names. This document does not need to be notarized unless real property transactions such as leasing, selling, or mortgaging of property are authorized. THIS DOCUMENT REFLECTS THE WISHES OF THE PRINCIPAL. Do not let anyone pressure you into making a financial power of attorney, naming an Agent, or granting a power unless it is your choice. If you do not understand any portion of this document, you should ask a lawyer to explain it to you.

Please see the information at the following links: http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/power-of-attorney/ http://estateplanning.uslegal.com/power-of-attorney-overview/ http://definitions.uslegal.com/f/fiduciary-duty/ Please see the forms at the following link: http://www.uslegalforms.com/powerofattorney/georgiapoa.htm

03/29/2010 - Category: Power of Attorney - State: GA #21587

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