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Power of Attorney
A "Power of Attorney" is a written document often used when someone wants another adult to handle their financial or property matters. A Power of Attorney is a legal form but is NOT a court form.
The courts generally are not involved with Powers of Attorney, however, if someone becomes incapacitated or unable to make their own decisions (e.g., in a coma, mentally incompetent, etc.) and needs another adult to make decisions for them, the court may get involved to order a legal Guardianship or Conservatorship for the incapacitated person.
The "principal" is the person who creates a Power of Attorney document and they give authority to another adult who is called an "attorney-in-fact." The attorney-in-fact does NOT have to be a lawyer, but must be a competent adult (18 years or older). The principal has the right to revoke or cancel the Power of Attorney at any time and may put a specific time limit in the document saying how long it is valid.
Talk with a lawyer if you are not sure how to prepare a Power of Attorney for your situation or if you need legal advice.
Power of Attorney Form & Legal Fact Sheet (MN Legal Services Coalition)
NOTE: The Minnesota Legislature also publishes a sample form at MN Stat. § 523.23 Statutory short form of general power-of-attorney. For more information on the definitions and other legal issues, read MN Statute Ch. 523.
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