How can I choose an agent?
It is extremely important that you can thoroughly trust the person you have named as your agent for your financial power of attorney. You should never feel pressured by anyone into signing a financial power of attorney, naming an agent or giving your agent a specific power. The authority you give your agent can have a major impact on you, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a decision.. Your agent (depending on the powers you assign to him) could:
sell your house,
withdraw money from your accounts, or
take a loan out in your name including a mortgage on your home.
Unlike a conservator or guardian, a person acting with a power of attorney does not have to answer to a court. There is no formal oversight regarding decisions that your agent makes.
Your agent should be someone with whom you feel confident discussing your wishes. Your agent does not need to agree with all your wishes, but she has a fiduciary duty to carry out your requests. For example, it would violate your agent's fiduciary duty to take out a mortgage on your property if you do not want your home mortgaged.
It is best to appoint only one person to be your agent. You can decide to appoint two people to act jointly as your agents. However, if your two agents disagree and are unable to reach an agreement on how to carry out your wishes, this could cause problems and expense for you. If these are family members, it can result in family conflict. If you are worried about having someone in place if something should happen to your agent, you could appoint one agent initially, and then appoint a Successor agent who would take over as your agent if your first agent could no longer serve as your agent.
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How do I make a financial power of attorney document?
You can find a sample financial power of attorney form on the Georgia Division of Aging Services website.
To be valid, the form must be:
Signed by you or by someone you explicitly ask to sign for you,
Signed by one or more competent witnesses. A competent witness is of sound mind and at least 14 years old.
All signatures must be done in front of a notary,
The power of attorney document must be notarized.
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How can I revoke a financial power of attorney?
At some point you may wish to end, or revoke, a financial power of attorney. You might want to revoke if:
You are once again able to handle your own finances, or
You think your agent is mishandling your finances.
To revoke the financial power of attorney, you should:
If your agent continues to act under the revoked financial power of attorney you should contact an attorney.
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