Granting and Terminating Power of Attorney
Power of attorney gives another person the right to take care of some of your affairs.
Granting someone power of attorney means that you formally give that person the right to take care of your financial, business, and/or legal affairs. This can be especially useful if you will be out of the country for an extended period of time. Someone who holds your power of attorney is called your “attorney-in-fact.” Once you delegate a power, your attorney-in-fact is authorized to act for that purpose just as if you were acting yourself.
Commonly, students grant power of attorney when studying abroad. This can give your attorney-in-fact power to many things such as access your bank account, submit tax returns, and make insurance claims. This also includes school related tasks such as financial aid, tuition payment, and class registration.
Consider carefully what powers you would like to grant your attorney-in-fact. Take into consideration how long you will be gone and how much you trust the person you will be granting your power of attorney. It is very important to appoint someone you trust completely. Many students select a parent or other trusted family member. A casual acquaintance or friend is not recommended. Talk with this person and make sure they are aware of all the duties you want them to perform. Also, advise them about how to managing your affairs.
We can help you grant power of attorney.
Come into our office and we can supply you with a standardized form called the “Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney” (POA form). You can complete the form yourself, or you can have an attorney assist you. Because it is an important legal document that can have serious consequences, it is important to have help. We can explain the legal terminology, applicable laws, and procedures.
We can provide you with the form for free, but we will charge a small fee to help prepare it with you. You must sign the POA form in the presence of a notary public. Notarization requires that you show a picture I.D. USLS provides free notary service during regular business hours.
Set a termination date stating when you will be able to resume your affairs.
Although optional, we advise that you specify a termination date. The power of attorney should be effective throughout the time you will be unavailable to conduct your own business. You must also specify whether or not you want a “durable” power of attorney. A durable POA remains legally effective if you become incapacitated or incompetent to handle your own affairs. You may formally revoke the Power of Attorney at any time.
Keep your POA form on file, particularly with your attorney-in-fact.
After the POA form is completed, signed, and notarized, the original must be given to your attorney-in-fact. If you receive assistance from USLS, we will keep a copy on file for you. Financial aid recipients should give a copy to the U of M Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. If you expect that your attorney-in-fact will regularly handle matters with a particular business, such as your bank. Simply inform the business that you have given that person power of attorney.