Legally, the person allowed to sign as a power of attorney is the agent in the power of attorney document. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document authorizing someone to conduct transactions or sign documents on another person’s behalf. The person appointed to make the decision is “the attorney-in-fact” or “agent,.” While the one creating and signing a power of attorney is called the principal.
Power of attorney can be narrowed and limited to a specific area of decision-making or broad, giving authority to decide everything on behalf of the principal. While the signing process might look simple, there are proper steps to follow to validate the power of attorney signature.
Read through this post to learn how to sign a power of attorney correctly.
Who is allowed to sign a power of attorney?
Legally, the person allowed to sign as a power of attorney is the agent in the power of attorney document. In most cases, the principal will appoint a backup or an alternate agent if the first option is unavailable for various reasons.
While it is possible to appoint two or more individuals to work as agents simultaneously, it is not recommended because it can lead to conflict.
If you are among more than two agents, you may need to determine if you are listed as a joint or concurrent agent with those also named in a power of attorney. Joint agents make decisions and find solutions to their problems together, while concurrent agents act independently.
Conflict resolution is sometimes included in the power of attorney document, or the partiers can devise their ways. However, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer if you have questions about conflict resolutions with other agents.
The correct way of signing as a power of attorney
Before signing a document as an agent, ensure you carry a copy of a power of attorney. While the principal might have filed them with the relevant department, it is crucial to have your copy available in case it’s requested.
It is also essential to call ahead and confirm the requirements for verification, such as a photo identity, a passport, or driver’s license.
The correct way to sign a power of attorney as an agent requires that you first sign against the principal’s full names, write the word “by,” then sign against your name. Also, you may want to show that you are an agent by indicating after the sign: attorney, in fact, agent, or POA.
The principal’s name comes first, followed by the agent’s because they are signing on behalf of the principal.
What happens when a person signs a power of attorney document?
When the attorney-in-fact signs a document, they have the same authority as the principal. Any transaction, agreement, or decision made is equally legal as if signed by the principal.
Most agencies or entities have different formatting requirements on how to sign as an attorney-in-fact. This is to keep track of the signing process in case of a dispute in the future.
Due to these differences, it is advisable to call the institution in advance to determine which format is preferred.
The authority to make decisions, get into agreements, or transact on behalf of some is a huge responsibility. If you act as an agent for someone, ensure you understand your responsibility and authority and make sure you indicate that you are operating under a power of attorney.
You may download a power of attorney template online from this website now.