What is a Power of Attorney?
There may be times where you (often referred to as the ‘Principle’) will want someone else that you trust (often referred to as an ‘Agent’ or ‘Attorney-in-Fact’) to be able to take care of certain matters and/or make certain decisions for you while you are away and/or incapacitated. A properly drafted Power of Attorney is a legal document that will allow some one you trust to do just that.
There are several types of Powers of Attorney in North Carolina:
General Power of Attorney – this is a broad POA that authorizes your agent to do all of the following things below and more (Note: will not allow Health Care Decisions or the power to change beneficiaries in an existing estate plan):
- Real Property Transactions
- Personal Property Transactions
- Bond, Share, Stock, Securities, Commodity and Other Negotiable Instrument Transactions
- Banking and Safe Deposits Transactions
- Business Operating Transactions
- Insurance Transactions
- Estate Transactions – excluding the power to change beneficiaries in an existing estate plan. No POA allows that.
- Personal Relationships and Affairs
- Social Security, Unemployment and Other Government Agency Transactions
- Benefits from Military Service
- IRS, State and Local Tax Matters
- Employment of Additional Agents
- Gifts to Charities, Individuals to Include or Not the Named Agent
- Renunciation of Interest In and/or Power Over Property Benefiting Other Person(s) to Include or Not the Named Agent
- Terminate and/or Direct the Administration of a Custodial Trust Created Under the Uniform Custodial Trust Act
Limited Power of Attorney – limits the POA to only some of the matters in the list above and excludes the rest.
Durable Power of Attorney – is not a separate POA but is an option to make a POA one that will either: 1) continue in effect if the Principle becomes incapacitated and/or mentally incompetent OR 2) will not take effect until the Principle becomes incapacitated and/or mentally incompetent. (Note: Powers of Attorney that are Durable MUST be registered in an appropriate county office of the Register of Deeds AND within 30 days of being registered, also filed with the Clerk of Court for that county. Further, Agents are required to keep full and accurate records of all transactions. The requirement to file with the Clerk of Court and to keep records can be waived.)
Non-Durable Power of Attorney – again this is not a separate POA but is an option that will cause any POA to be revoked and terminate if the Principle becomes incapacitated and/or mentally incompetent.
Health Care Power of Attorney – specifically allows Health Care decisions to made that are not allowed in the General and Limited Powers of Attorney.
Health Care / Custody Power of Attorney for a Minor Child – is the same as a Health Care Power of Attorney but is specifically for making Health Care and / or Custody decisions for a Minor Child.
What is the fee for a Power of Attorney?
Our firm has flat rate fee of $25 for simple General Powers of Attorney fees for other POA’s vary based on their complexity but are still quoted on a flat rate basis. Compare our fee to Legal Zoom™ at $35 to $64.95 or any other attorney or law firm.
What makes a Power of Attorney from The Houser Law Firm different?
Our Powers of Attorney are not computer generated. They are hand drafted and reviewed by our licensed attorney. Specifically tailored to your unique circumstances and are fully comprehensive, containing all of the following unique features that other attorneys, law firms and online services may not offer, such as:
- The option to include a copy of your identification card directly on the POA. Your agent will usually be asked to present identification when using a POA. It is time saving, convenient and helpful if identification is part of the form.
- Non-Photocopying Water Mark – our POA has a non-photocopying watermark and/or other security feature(s) that will easily distinguish a copy of your POA from an original.
- Only the specific powers you choose are listed. Some attorneys, law firms and online services use a form style POA that has a check list of powers that you check off and initial. It is far too easy for someone to later simply ‘check off’ powers you did not authorize. Often by the time you discover the fraud – the damage is done. Our POA’s prevent this by only listing the powers you authorized and omitting the ones you didn’t. We also structure the format of our POA so that it is nearly impossible for any one to make unnoticeable changes to the POA that you did not authorize.
- Statement on North Carolina Law of the Penalty for Unreasonable Refusal to Recognize POA. Sometimes you will encounter difficulty in having your POA accepted. In North Carolina, it is unlawful to unreasonably refuse to accept a POA. Our POA’s have a copy NCGS § 32A-41 printed on the POA so you can show that unreasonable refusal is not allowed.
Wow, the fee and features are incredible! That’s just what I need! How do I get started?
All it takes is 3 Easy Steps: 1) Just fill out our Easy POA Interview Form (below), 2) select the options that work best for you, 3) make Payment and our attorney will have a comprehensive Power of Attorney hand drafted specifically for you, so that you can rest assured that someone you trust has the authority to handle the affairs and/or make the decisions that you authorize.