While you can obtain the forms for a Georgia Power of Attorney online, we highly recommend working with an Elder law or Estate Planning attorney to draw up the document for you.
What is a Power of Attorney?**
A Power of Attorney (or POA) is a legally binding document. It gives a named person (also known as an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact) the right to make financial decisions on behalf of another person. The Agent may have wide or limited legal authority depending on how the document is written.
The Agent can have a tremendous amount of power and make decisions that affect a person’s finances. This could include personal and business affairs like banking and investments; to their property including personal effects and real estate.
Unfortunately, many older adults do not have this important document in place. And those that do have a POA, likely have an old version that is now out of date in Georgia.
What types of Power of Attorneys are there?
There are four types of POA’s you should be aware of and they are:
- A General Power of Attorney: a comprehensive document that grants the agent powers like paying bills and conducting other financial transactions on your behalf. You can use this type of POA even if you’re not incapacitated but just need help conducting financial business. This POA ends with your incapacitation or death
- A Durable Power of Attorney: can be general or limited and remains in affect after you become incapacitated. It remains in effect until your death but can be rescinded if you are not incapacitated
- Special or Limited Power of Attorney: this POA is used for a specific purpose or limited amount of time. For example, if you need someone to represent you to close on a house while you are out of the country. The document will specify when the powers end
- Springing Power of Attorney: this document becomes effective once you are incapacitated. It should clearly state in the POA how that will be determined
Who should be my POA?
It should be someone you trust implicitly. Ideally it’s a family member who has some experience and is good in dealing with financial matters. You should also trust that this person will carry out your wishes.
Unfortunately…that person is not always available.
Often older adults put off signing a POA they don’t have a trusted person to act as a financial agent. For individuals without trustworthy family or friends, a professional fiduciary is hired to be a financial agent.
The Daily Money Managers at Senior Partners are insured and bonded and will act as POA to carry out financial transactions. We keep accurate records that offer transparency and confidence that our clients’ best interests and wishes are always followed.
So How Do I Get a Power of Attorney In Georgia?
Because I have served as a Power of Attorney and understand the gravity of taking on such a position, I highly recommend using a knowledgeable attorney to draw up the document for you.
It cannot be overstated how important a POA is. It is not a one-size-fits-all document because there are different options that can be used for many different reasons.
Using an attorney may cost you more upfront, but using the wrong document can cost even more later down the road. Think about the aggravation and frustration you may encounter because the form you found online wasn’t done correctly or doesn’t give you the power you actually need it for.
Again, I feel it is best to have an attorney draft the document specifically for you and your needs. Here is a link to the State Bar of Georgia’s Find A Lawyer page. Use this to help you find an Elder Law or Estate Planning attorney to help you with Power of Attorney documents.
If you still want to take your chances on obtaining a Power Of Attorney online, here is a link to E-Forms that has multiple POA forms available.
How often should I update my POA?
In 2017, Georgia’s Power of Attorney laws changed. This change requires Georgians to complete a new POA in order to take advantage of these revisions.
If you have a Power of Attorney document signed before July 1, 2017, it needs to be updated!
The Uniform Power of Attorney Act offers more safeguards against bad agents and compels financial institutions to accept the Power of Attorney. These two enhancements make the new POA very beneficial.
So that’s how you get a Power of Attorney in Georgia. To learn more about Georgia’s Uniform Power of Attorney Act, click here
To learn more about Daily Money Managers, click here
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