Info - Limited Power of Attorney

Note: This is general legal information intended only to inform the reader. If you need legal advice, you should consult an attorney. See entire Disclaimer.

1. Your Name:  identifies you, the person creating the limited power of attorney (the "principal"), and starts with the first name. The current official name, as it appears on the driver license for example, should be listed here. If other names were used in financial records which would be the subject of this limited power of attorney, they should also be listed here. This would make your attorney-in-fact's job much easier. Examples: Paul Cooper; aka, Paul Blake; aka, Paul Cooper-Blake.

Note: for property you co-own, for example with your spouse, your limited power of attorney will give control to your attorney-in-fact only over your interest in that property. For full control, all owners must give a separate power of attorney to the same attorney-in-fact.

2. Your Gender. This is optional; it is generally needed for the purpose of using the proper pronoun in the document.

3. Your Residence Address not only further identifies you, the principal, but is required as the law differs in each state. Your limited power of attorney will be in compliance with the law of the state indicated here. In general, the principal's state is the state where his/her main legal residence is; that is the state where he/she lives or he/she has most contacts with by voting there, owning property there, having bank accounts there, etc. List here at least your city and your state.

4. The Attorney-in-Fact, sometimes called agent,  is the person you, the principal, authorize to represent you in your financial matters. This is the most important decision you have to make for the purpose of creating the limited power of attorney. The person you choose does not have to be an attorney or any other type of expert. You can choose any competent adult you trust and is willing to serve. When choosing such a person, the following are some factors which should be considered: trustworthiness,  relationship with  you, his/her willingness to serve, his/her skills, and his/her residence. For example, your spouse or an adult child may be a good choice. The limited power of attorney can be revoked, and/or the attorney-in-fact changed, at any time.

List here the correct name and address (at least the city and state) of the person you want to designate as your attorney-in-fact. If you are not sure, ask the person you want to be your attorney-in-fact.  Example: John Smith,  234 Norman St., Apt. 100, Irvine, CA, 92555.

5. Authorization Description. Here, the principal, the person creating the limited power of attorney, indicates what specific powers he/she is giving to the attorney-in-fact. The authority, can be broader or narrower, depending on the principal's situation and his/her intent or wishes.

It is very important to be specific here regarding (1), what your attorney-in-fact may do, and (2), with what property.

Example 1:

selling my 2000 Mercedes Benz E320, California license plate 3WWW678, for no less than 15,000. He may sign in my name all documents associated with this transaction. My attorney-in-fact may deposit the proceeds of the sale in my saving account no. 234-3456, Chase Bank.

Example 2:

closing the escrow on the property I am purchasing, located at 111 East Street, Irvine, CA. My attorney-in-fact may sign the required documents on my behalf. My attorney-in-fact may also withdraw funds necessary to close this escrow from my checking account no. 123-456, City Bank.

 It should be noted that some financial institutions have their own power of attorney form. If your attorney-in-fact will have to deal with your bank on your behalf, and the bank has such form, you should fill out that form too; it would facilitate your attorney-in-fact's interaction with that bank.

6. Authorization Start Date. Enter here the date you want your limited power of attorney to take effect.

7. Authorization End Date.  Enter here the date you want your limited power of attorney to end.

Note. It is generally wise to revoke the old limited power of attorney and create a new one periodically. Many institutions are hesitant to work with limited power of attorneys which are older than one year. When you do revoke your old limited power of attorney, you should  notify whoever has a copy that you revoked it, and that you have created a new one.


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