Exercise Extreme Caution when using many of our free forms - or any legal material. While they may provide general ideas on format & content, validity requirements can and do vary greatly from state to state. Many MUST be Properly Modified for your own location and circumstances. (Hint: If in doubt it's usually safer to include unneeded clauses than to leave out necessary ones. . . . but it's even safer to consult a competent source or use current, state specific ones like ours mentioned below.) Also, we urge people (and lawyers too) to read our Relying On Legal Info FAQ.
The person whose interests are going to be assumed by the Agent is called the Principal. The Principal must be mentally competent when the document is signed in order for the Power of Attorney to be legally binding. If there is any doubt about the mental competency of the Principal, a physician's must be consulted. If the physician determines that the Principal understands the document and the powers that are being assigned to the Agent, then the Principal is determined to be mentally competent.
It is generally a good idea to have your Power of Attorney notarized by a Notary Public. Notarization reinforces the validity of the document and makes it harder to contest in court. Health Care Powers of Attorney must be signed by two witnesses in order to be valid.
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