After You Sign Your Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

When you've completed your durable power of attorney for finances, you have just a few more things to do.

What to Do With the Signed Document

Your attorney-in-fact will need the original power of attorney document, signed and notarized, to act on your behalf. So, if you want your attorney-in-fact to start using the document right away, give the original document to the attorney-in-fact.

If you named more than one attorney-in-fact, give the original document to one of them. Between them, they will have to work out the best way to prove their authority. For example, they may decide to visit some financial institutions or government offices together to establish themselves as your attorneys-in-fact. Or they may need to take turns with the document. Some agencies, such as the IRS, will accept a copy of the document, rather than the original: Such flexible policies make things easier on multiple attorneys-in-fact who need to share the original document.

Making and Distributing Copies

If you wish, you can give copies of your durable power to the people your attorney-in-fact will need to deal with—in banks or government offices, for example. If the durable power is in their records, it may eliminate hassles for your attorney-in-fact later because they will be familiar with the document and expecting your attorney-in-fact to take action under it.

If your power of attorney won't be used unless and until you become incapacitated, however, it may seem premature to contact people and institutions about a document that may never go into effect. It's up to you.

Be sure to keep a list of everyone to whom you give a copy. If you later revoke your durable power of attorney, notify each institution of the revocation. (See "Revoking Your Durable Power of Attorney," below.)

Keeping Your Document Up to Date

If you make a power of attorney that your attorney-in-fact won't use unless and until you become incapacitated, it's a good idea to revoke it and create a new one every five to seven years, especially if your

What to Do With the Additional Documents

Your power of attorney prints out with several additional documents. Here is a quick summary of these documents and what you should do with them.

Information for an Attorney-in-Fact

This sheet is intended to help your attorney-in-fact understand the job. It discusses the attorney-in-fact's duties and responsibilities, including the duty to manage your property honestly and prudently and to keep accurate records. You should give a copy to the person you name in your document and take some time to talk together about the responsibilities involved.

Delegation of Authority

If you allow your attorney-in-fact to delegate tasks to others, he or she may want to use the Delegation of Authority form. Give a copy to your attorney-in-fact. Or, if your power of attorney won't be used right away, keep the form with your power of attorney document so your attorney-in-fact will have easy access to it later.

Resignation of Attorney-in-Fact

Your attorney-in-fact can use the Resignation of Attorney-in-Fact form to step down from the job. The attorney-in-fact should fill out the form and send it to the alternate attorney-in-fact. If you name more than one attorney-in-fact, the one who resigns may send the form to the others. Give a copy of this form to your attorney-in-fact along with your power of attorney document. Or, if your power of attorney won't be used right away, keep the forms together in a safe place known by your attorney-in-fact, who can obtain them if it becomes necessary.

Notice of Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney

If you ever want to revoke your power of attorney, prepare and sign a Notice of Revocation. Keep a copy of this form on file in case you need it later.

If you record your power of attorney, then change your mind and want to cancel the document, you must also record a Notice of Revocation.