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A power of attorney refers to a legally binding document which you create to grant a friend or family member power over your affairs in the event of your incapacitation or if you are unavailable for some time.
Also called a POA, the document recognizes the person creating the POA as the principal and the person authorized to act on your behalf, and as you would have acted is the agent or the attorney-in-fact. The document is legally recognized, and it gives an agent partial or full powers over one or several matters. You can also find a POA with limited powers, and others with general or special attorney powers in your free Maine power of attorney form.
The other difference you should be aware of is that of the ordinary and the durable powers of attorney.
What are the differences between the Ordinary and the Durable Powers of Attorney?
The ordinary POA refers to a POA that is only valid for as long as the principal can act and decide on their own. The powers granted by this document become invalid as soon as a principal is mentally or physically incapacitated or if they die.
A Durable POA, on the other hand, remains active regardless of the principal’s mental incapacitation. however, the powers granted are rescinded immediately after the principal dies and its revocation is done by sending a written revocation notice to the agent.
In the state of Maine, you will come across different types of powers of attorney, and you should know them well before filling out any free power of attorney form in Maine.
These POA types include:
Maine Durable Power of Attorney
This refers to a document giving a trusted party (friend or relative) the power to make some decision and to act in your place should you be incapacitated and unable to act on your behalf.
Under the state laws, the agent given the durable powers of attorney gets to make decisions regarding your finances and healthcare. This means that when you are sick, the agent can write checks and manage your property and when your health status is dire, the agent will decide whether you stay hooked to a respirator or not.
Some of the financial decisions the agent can make include cashing your checks, investing your money, buying or selling stuff, debt collection, or suing on principal’s behalf.
As the health care agent, they can make health care decisions including the use of life-sustaining procedures for you or even your kids if they are minors.
What are the legal alternatives to the POA in the state of Maine?
The state gives you two viable and legal alternatives: conservatorship or guardianship. Unfortunately, these options mean that you lose several freedoms plus rights especially because the probate court is the only institution that can appoint a guardian or a conservator.
These arrangements work best if you wish for the court to review your affairs. But, if you cannot avoid seeking recourse from the court, you should get a POA. Don’t forget that the powers of the POA end upon your death and it will never be a substitute for a will.
Also, you don’t need a lawyer to review the POA, unless you are giving out important powers and you’d like the legal advice of a legal professional.
Revocation of the DPOA
A principal can revoke the DPOA simply by typing or writing a statement with their name and date, intention to revoke POA powers, the date the original POA was signed, the name of the agent(s) and their signature.
The requirements and the powers of the DPOA for healthcare are covered in Code Section 18A §5-901, et seq. of the laws in Maine.
Powers granted by the DPOA include consenting or refusing to consent to a medical or a healthcare procedure or intervention including a life-supporting treatment.
For the agent to give such directives, they should be acting according to the powers of a DPOA. The principal should have signed the durable POA form or give someone else instructions to sign it but in the presence of the principal. The form also needs to be signed by at least two witnesses present. The notary is an alternative to the witnesses.
It should also come with notices which follow the language that’s provided for use in Maine’s revised statutes.
You can revoke the DPOA whenever you want as long as you are of sound mind.
Maine Limited Power of Attorney Law
This document lets you grant your agent limited powers over specific matters. The powers are to be acted upon in the event of your incapacitation or unavailability. It’s not revocable unless notice is issued. And, to revoke those powers, the agent has to send a revocation notice to the agent and third parties acting under the agent’s directives.
Maine Durable POA For Bank Account Matters Law
Revocable in the same manner as the limited POA, this POA gives an agent specific powers over the principal’s bank account.
If you’re interested in any POA document, expedite the process with our free power of attorney forms available online. You can access legal forms from any city you live in, like Portland, Lewiston, Bangor or anywhere in Maine.