• March 1, 2021

What to Know Before Granting Power of Attorney

What to Know Before Granting Power of Attorney

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Granting Power of Attorney in Minnesota is a simple process, but it’s not one to be taken lightly. Always consult with an attorney before taking this legal action. 

A Brief Definition of Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is a written document used when an adult (the principal) wishes to have another adult (the agent or attorney-in-fact) handle their financial and property matters. It’s a legally binding document. If a person is incapacitated and cannot make these decisions on their own, the court will generally step in to establish a guardianship or conservatorship. 

You can apply for Power of Attorney by filling out a document provided by the state of Minnesota. 

A copy of the document can be found on the court’s website. 

Who Can Be Given Power of Attorney?

There are only two legal requirements for a person being granted Power of Attorney. The person must be: 

  1. 18 years of age or older 
  2. A competent adult 

The better question is who should be given power of attorney. 

A Warning

Giving Power of Attorney to another individual is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to understand what “power” you are granting to another person, who can then act in place of you across a wide range of financial and personal matters. 

Be sure you can trust the person you are granting these powers to. 

What Can an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact Do?

As the principal, you can decide what a person can and cannot do when granting Power of Attorney.  

In general, giving Power of Attorney to a person means that they can: 

  • Sign contracts 
  • Make healthcare decisions for you 
  • Oversee financial transactions 
  • Sign legal documents 

You can also assign limited Power of Attorney to an agent, meaning that they will only be able to act in this capacity in specific instances. You can give them power to conduct certain business and make certain decisions, all of which can be outlined in your Power of Attorney document. An example is Medical Power of Attorney, which only allows the agent to make medical decisions like terminating care or stopping life support. 

You can choose to have one person be given Medical Power of Attorney and another person be given Power of Attorney over your financial decision.  

Remember that Power of Attorney can be undone, so talk with your attorney about setting up your Power of Attorney so that it can be removed when necessary. 

 

Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly. 

 

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