Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that authorizes an individual, known as the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact," to act on behalf of another person, known as the "principal." A POA can delegate various types of authority, such as making financial or healthcare decisions, signing legal documents, or managing property.
In the United States, obtaining power of attorney over a sibling requires following specific legal procedures, which can vary depending on the state where the sibling resides.
Here are some steps to follow when getting power of attorney over a sibling in the US:
1. Determine the type of power of attorney:
Different types of POAs can be granted, depending on the scope and duration of the delegated authority.
A general POA grants broad authority to the agent to act on behalf of the principal in various matters, whereas a limited POA grants authority for specific purposes, such as signing a contract or selling a property.
A durable POA remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated, whereas a non-durable POA terminates upon the principal’s incapacitation.
2. Discuss the matter with your sibling:
Before initiating the legal process, it is essential to have an open and honest conversation about the reasons for seeking power of attorney.
Be clear about your intentions and listen to your sibling’s concerns or objections.
It is essential to approach the conversation respectfully and empathically, as this decision may have significant consequences for both parties.
3. Obtain the necessary legal forms:
Obtaining power of attorney typically involves completing legal forms and filing them with the appropriate government agency or court.
The specific forms and procedures may vary depending on the state where the sibling resides.
You can obtain the necessary forms from the state government website, a local courthouse, or an attorney.
4. Fill out the forms correctly:
It is essential to complete them accurately and altogether to avoid delays or complications.
The forms may require information such as the names and contact information of the principal and agent, the type of authority being granted, and the duration of the POA.
5. Sign the forms before a notary public:
Most states require the POA to be signed by a notary public, who will verify the signer’s identity and witness the signature.
The notary public will also affix their seal or stamp to the document to certify its authenticity.
6. File the forms with the appropriate agency or court:
After they have been completed and signed, they must be filed with the appropriate government agency or court.
Some states require the POA to be filed with a specific court, such as a probate or family court.
Considering that obtaining power of attorney over a sibling in the US differs from state to state, it is ideal to seek the support of an attorney. This would ensure no legal formality is missed.