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How to Get a Power of Attorney in Georgia

How to Get a Power of Attorney in Georgia
The Siliconreview
19 October, 2021

A power of attorney is an extremely important document that appoints and allows an attorney to make decisions on your behalf.

A POA, or power of attorney, is an important document related to estate planning, and it appoints an agent or attorney the legal right to make a limited set of decisions on your behalf.

A power of attorney is usually used and created when the principal is suffering from a permanent or temporary disability, illness, or another type of medical condition and is unable to make decisions on their own.

Power of Attorney Requirements

If you are wondering how to get power of attorney in Georgia, the process is pretty straightforward. You have to contact an estate planning lawyer, and they will guide you through every step. The basic power of attorney requirements is pretty much the same in all the states. This includes requirements such as:

  • The POA document must be signed by the principal of the contract. If the principal is unable to sign, it must be signed by someone in the presence and at the direction of the principal.
  • It must be signed in the presence of one or multiple witnesses.
  • It must be signed by someone authorized to administer oaths, like a notary public.
  • The principal, the witness, the person who signs, and the notary must be present during the signing.

Aside from these basic requirements, some states may have a few other requirements or criteria. Let’s take a look at the POA requirements in Georgia.

Requirements Related to Execution

You have to follow Georgia's laws when setting up a POA form. If it does not, banks, financial institutions, law firms, and credit unions will not accept the form or acknowledge the attorney's authorization.

In Georgia, all POA forms created after July 1 2017, must follow the format established under the Georgia Code § 10-6B-70 (2017), or it must contain the same language as the statutory form.

Requirements Related to Granting Authority

A power of attorney is a powerful document, and in the right hands, it can be extremely beneficial. But in the wrong hands, it could have severe repercussions for both you and your family.

In total, there are 5 types of POA, and each gives the agent different types of authority. For instance, if you set up a financial POA, the agent can only make decisions related to your financial matters. They will not have any authority over your health care. If you want someone to take care of your health, you will have to set up a medical POA or advance directive for healthcare under Georgia Law.

Incapacitation Under Georgia Law

Under the laws of Georgia, a person is referred to as incapacitated if a person loses the ability to evaluate, analyze, and receive information and communicate to make an informed decision. The impairment has to be determined and recognized by a licensed psychologist or physician.

The principal may also be incapacitated if they are detained, incarcerated, or is unable to return to the United States for an uncertain period. This has to be determined and acknowledged by a judge, lawyer, or another government official.

Banks and POAs

Most of the banks were reluctant to accept the newly established format of POA created in 2017. However, the UPOAA, or the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, compelled banks to accept it.

Still, there are plenty of banks in Georgia that have their financial POA. The best way to deal with this would be to contact the banks or other financial institutions and ask whether they have their own POAs. If they do, complete their forms and submit them.

Social Security Administration and POAs

The social security administration and the veteran’s administration in Georgia do not recognize POAs. This is extremely frustrating, but their policies do not accept it yet. To receive transactions from the SSA, you have to apply and become a representative payee.

As for the VA or veterans administration, the VA has its way of selecting a financial agent on behalf of the principal to manage their finances. The VA will call for and appoint a financial fiduciary. But this process is often time-consuming since the VA runs background checks on potential fiduciaries and appoints the right one.

Types of Power of Attorney

There are five types of power of attorneys, and all of them appoint an agent and give them a limited set of rights to make decisions. However, each type has a specific purpose.

1. General Power of Attorney

This allows an agent or attorney to make decisions regarding your financials, health, business, and legal matters. It gives the agent authority on all situations under the local laws and regulations. However, a general POA has limitations regarding setting up wills and testaments.

2. Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney allows the agent to make a broader set of decisions, compared to a general POA, and it does not get terminated even if the principal becomes incapacitated.

3. Financial Power of Attorney

A financial POA gives the agent the right to make decisions only related to financial matters such as property and money. It allows your agent to pay your bills, manage your investments, make bank deposits, file your taxes, etc.

4. Medical Power of Attorney

A medical POA or a healthcare POA is also subject to a limited set of decisions. In this case, the agent can only make decisions related to your healthcare. Your agent can make decisions about your treatment, medication, surgery, end-of-life care, etc.

5. Springing Power of Attorney

A traditional POA is effective immediately. Meaning, the agent can start making decisions right away after being appointed, but a springing power of attorney is only activated when a specific condition is met. For instance, if you become incapacitated, only then will a springing POA become activated.

Final Thoughts

Power of attorneys can make important decisions on your behalf. It is extremely important to appoint the right attorney for you and your family’s physical, mental, and financial well-being.

Depending on the type of POA, their limitations vary. However, most of them become ineffective after the death of the principal.