Yes, you can find power of attorney documents and templates online, but it is rarely in your best interest to use these in your business. The very intent of a power of attorney is to let the person of your choosing be able to act in the event of an emergency; unfortunately, digital documents don’t always protect you legally here.
The biggest reason to work with a lawyer to create a power of attorney of your own is that you might have unique needs and considerations to weave into the POA. For example, you might want it to state that the document only becomes active in certain circumstances that you define. A generic power of attorney document might not cover you based on the specific circumstances.
A digital download might seem like the easy way to go, but it’s also a way that could expose you to unnecessary problems. Remember that it will be your loved ones attempting to sort this out if you become incapacitated, and the entire reason to have a POA in place is so that your loved ones don’t have to go through additional hurdles in the event of a sudden issue.
If you find a general template or worse, pay for something that you have not had drafted or reviewed by an attorney, some of the problems you might face include:
- The document might not be current with regard to allowed statements/format
- Fails to cover the legal requirements for a POA in your state
- Is unclear
- Doesn’t have key authorities inside it
- Doesn’t align with your personal situation
If your power of attorney document is unclear or leaves room for interpretation, this can lead to challenges in court which will delay your appointed agent from being able to take action quickly.
This can all be easily avoided when you retain an experienced estate planning lawyer to help you create your own document.