What Is strength of Attorney?
A strength of Attorney is a written document that you can use to give another person the authority to act in your place. The person you name to act in your place is referred to as your agent and may only do what you have specifically empowered them to do in your document. They must also act in good faith and in your best interest. They cannot give their authority to somebody else to complete the task for them. You can also list a second person referred to as a co-agent to act in your place with your agent, either together or independently. If you want to be prepared for the possibility that the agent and co-agent you listed may be unwilling or unable to act for you, you can also name another person referred to as a successor agent to take there place if necessary. A successor agent will have the same authority that you granted to your agent, but cannot act until the agent resigns, dies, becomes incapacitated, complete, or have declined.
If the person who does act for you is an attorney or accountant, they may be entitled to reasonable compensation or reimbursement of expenses incurred on your behalf.
A strength of attorney document becomes effective closest after you sign it and remains in effect until the authority specifically granted in it is completed. The acts performed under a strength of attorney are considered to be as legal and binding on you as if you had done them yourself. Any person who acts in good faith and accepts the strength of attorney from the person you have empowered to act for you cannot be held responsible for accepting the document.
You may cancel the document at any time by giving proper notice to the person you had empowered to act for you. Until the person receives proper notice from you, any acts that the person completes for you in good faith is considered legal until they have received proper notice. The person you have empowered to act for you may also resign by giving you proper notice. Proper notice is given in writing and may be sent by first-class mail, hand delivered or faxed.
If you do not want your strength of attorney to be terminated if you should become incapacitated, you can make it lasting by adding to your document “This lasting strength of attorney is not terminated by later incapacity of the principal” or similar words.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances.