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Entering Information About Yourself

To make Nolo's Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, you must enter some basic identifying information about yourself.

Your Name

Enter your name the way it appears on formal business documents, such as your driver's license, bank accounts or real estate deeds. This may or may not be the name that appears on your birth certificate.

If you have used different names in important documents, you can list all of them on the screen, separated by aka, which stands for "also known as." Be sure to enter all names in which you hold bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate and other property. This will make it far easier for your attorney-in-fact to get his or her job done.

If you use more than one name and you're up for some extra work, you may also consider settling on one name for your power of attorney document, and then changing your other documents to conform. That will clean up your records and save your attorney-in-fact some trouble later on. To change your name on official documents and records—for example, bank accounts, deeds or Social Security records—you'll have to contact the appropriate government office or financial institution to find out what documentation they'll need.

Your Social Security Number

Your Social Security number can be very useful for your attorney-in-fact. It may help him or her to obtain your financial information and take care of your affairs. However, we do not ask you to include the number in your document. Concerns about identity theft make it important for you to protect this sensitive piece of information. Some states even forbid Social Security numbers on documents that will be placed in the public records. That said, you should be sure that your attorney-in-fact knows your Social Security number. Write it down and ask your attorney-in-fact to keep it safe.

Your Address

Enter the complete address of your residence. If during the course of the year you live in more than one state, use the address in the state where you vote, register vehicles, own valuable property, have bank accounts or run a business. If you've already made other estate planning documents, be consistent: Use the same address for every document.