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11 Power of Attorney (POA) MT199001HR February 2012
22 MontGuide estateplanning
3 3 Marsha Goetting Professor, Extension Family Economics Specialist Montana State University Authors Edwin Eck Professor, School of Law, University of Montana
4 4 Keri Hayes Extension Publications Assistant Montana State University PowerPoint Developer
55 Why have a POA? To designate another person to act on your behalf, if necessary
66 Definition Terms Principal Agent Entities
77 Example: Sara, a homebound elderly mother Wants her daughter to have authority to: Write checks on her behalf Make other financial decisions in the future
88 Montana Uniform Power of Attorney Act Effective October 1, 2011 Provisions for Creation provides Safeguards
99 Form Montana Statutory Power of Attorney Agent’s Certification as to the Validity of Power of Attorney and Agent’s Authority
10 Naming an agent Only the principal can decide who should serve as agent Must be trustworthy to fulfill the responsibilities of POA
11 Avoid Naming an Agent Ill Difficulty managing money Inexperienced with financial matters
12 Responsibilities of Agent Principal should inform agent what authority (power) has been given in the POA form
13 Important Information for Agent Agent’s Duties & Circumstances Potential liability for any losses caused by agent’s violations
14 List of transaction categories that can be included in the agent’s general authority Page 2 of MontGuide The Montana Uniform Act provides:
15 Real property Tangible personal property Stocks & Bonds Commodities & Options Banks & other financial institutions List of Transaction Categories
16 Operation of entity or business Insurance & Annuities Estates, trusts & other beneficial interests Claims & Litigation List of Transaction Categories, cont’d.
17 Personal & family maintenance Benefits from government programs Civil or Military Service Retirement Plans Taxes List of Transaction Categories, cont’d.
18 Additional Powers Create, amend, revoke, or terminate a revocable living trust Make a gift Create or change right of survivorship
19 Additional powers con’d. Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity Including survivor benefit from retirement plan Disclaim property
20 Agent is not permitted to: Write a will Represent the principal in court
21 Authority to more than one person? Principal may designate two or more persons to act as: Coagents Use authority independently
22 Consequences of giving authority to coagents Disagree about action May result in attorney’s fees & court costs
23 Successor Agent Principal may designate a Successor Agent, if the original agent: Resigns Dies Becomes incapacitated Is not qualified to serve Declines to serve
24 Successor Agent Authority Has same authority that was given to the original agent
25 Should the same POA be used to give an agent authority to make health care decisions?
26 Authority for Health Care Decisions If same person is to serve both capacities: Principal could use one POA
27 Example of Health Care POA Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services
28 What makes a POA valid? Signed by: Principal By another individual within the principal’s presence who is directed to sign the principal’s name
29 Notarized Form Genuine signature Acknowledged signature before notary public
30 When is a POA effective? When it is signed Unless the principal provides instruction otherwise
31 Springing Power “Springs into” existence upon the conditions stated by principal
32 How long does POA last? Until principal’s death
33 Does an agent get paid? Yes, unless the POA states otherwise Reimbursement of expenses Reasonable compensation
34 District Court Review Agent who is found liable for breaching duties is responsible for : Restoring its value Repayment of attorney’s fees & court costs
35 Guardianships Conservatorships POAs
36 Guardian Takes care of the incapacitated person Conservator Manages the financial affair of incapacitated person Court-appointed
37 Appointment of a guardian and/or conservator Is not automatic Hearing must be held in district court More costly than POA
38 Durable Power of Attorney POA is considered durable unless the document specifically states otherwise
39 Signing a document that indicates that POA is revoked “I hereby revoke my Power of Attorney dated January 12, 2012, naming John Jones as my agent” Revoke a POA
40 Prior POAs Should be destroyed because signing a new POA does not automatically revoke a previous one
41 Revocation A revocation statement could be added to: Special Instruction Section of POA
42 Financial Entities Notified of the POA revocation Principal may be legally bound by agent’s actions
43 What if a POA was signed before the Montana Uniform POA Act became effective on Oct. 1, 2011? Still effective if: Met requirements of previous law
44 Is a POA written in another state valid in Montana Yes if, Complied with laws of the other state
45 Method for Agent to Prove Authority Form Agent Certification as to the Validity of Power of Attorney & Agent’s Authority
46 What if Entity Refuses to Honor POA? After presented by agent, entity is required to accept the POA: No later than 7 business days
47 Social Security Benefits under POA POA is not accepted for the management of Social Security beneficiary benefits SSA recognizes only a representative payee
48 Social Security Booklet A Guide for Representative Payees Call Online:
49 Summary POA can provide a low-cost private alternative to guardianship or conservatorship
50 Summary A POA should be reviewed annually to assure that it meets the principal’s needs
51 MontGuide estateplanning
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