Power of Attorney – Special Power of Attorney: The Basics

Power of Attorney – Special Power of Attorney: The Basics

A power of attorney is a piece of paper. With it you give someone the power to act for you. The person acting for you is your agent also known as your “attorney-in-fact.”

(So, if you have always wanted to be an attorney–here’s your chance. Just have someone execute a power of attorney and…presto, you are now his attorney–attorney in fact, that is.)

Note: as you probably know, to become an attorney-at-law is a whole other story. And I’ve written an article on that too–which is well worth reading.

There are two basic types of powers of attorney: general power of attorney and special power of attorney.

A general power of attorney is not limited to a specific purpose. If you just want someone to be able to act for you while you are out of the country then the general one is what you need.

A special power of attorney is used to give another person authority to do one specific thing. For example, if I want to get authority from my client to sign his name to a check I can use the following:

Special Power of Attorney

I, name of client, do hereby grant my attorney Rex Bush a special power of attorney to sign my name to the insurance settlement check so that I don’t have to drive to Salt Lake City from Moab to do the signing.
Client Signature & Date

As you can see this does not require a notary seal. This is a power of attorney in its simplest form. You can dress it up from here and add legal mumbo jumbo as needed to create a power of attorney that you feel good about. However, if you are “ok” with a simple English document, so are the courts.

Now let’s say you are in Iraq, on active duty. You want your wife back in Sandy, Utah to renew your car’s registration but she can’t without your power of attorney. Here’s what that might look like.

Special Power of Attorney

I, Andy Rasmussen, do hereby grant my wife, Jesica Rasmussen, a special power of attorney to sign my name to any documents needed to accomplish re-registration of my 1956 Plymouth Fury so that I don’t have to return from Iraq just to re-register my car.
Andy Rasmussen Date

This is another power of attorney in simple form. Once again, no notary seal is required but you can always dress it up a bit if you like.

Let’s try one more. Let’s say you are buying your first home. Your wife can make the closing but you can’t.

Special Power of Attorney

I, Sam Bidwell, do hereby grant my beloved wife, Greta Bidwell, a special power of attorney to sign my name to any and all closing or other documents at the closing of the home we are purchasing at 1308 Howard Drive, Albany, Oregon.
Sam Bidwell Date

Once again–very simple.

Conclusion

A special power of attorney is a very simple document. You don’t need to make it complicated. Use it to grant someone the power to act for you on one limited occasion.

In 25 years as an injury attorney Rex Bush has successfully handled over 1014 cases, his largest settlement to date is 3.25 million dollars. Visit his website: Utah Personal Injury Attorneys

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