A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person, a financial institution, a trust, or a business (“the agent”), the legal power to act in place of another person (“the principal”).
You can use a power of attorney form to have someone make day-to-day legal decisions for you, or to make sure your money and health care are handled in your best interest if you become “incapacitated” (when you can’t make decisions due to illness, injury, or disability).
Depending on your circumstance, you may need one or more of the following types of power of attorney documents valid in Georgia (GA).
Georgia (GA) Power of Attorney Documents
Regarding incapacitation, Georgia determines incapacitation on the basis of the following criteria. The principal must be:
- unable to manage his or her financial affairs specifically due to an “impairment in the ability to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions even with the use of technological assistance” (as determined by a physician or licensed psychologist); or
- missing, detained (including being incarcerated), or outside of the United States and unable to return (as determined by a lawyer, judge or “an appropriate government official).
Under previous Georgia laws, a third party, such as a bank, could refuse to comply with a POA because they did not consider themselves a party to the contract created by the agent and the principal. Under the new Georgia power of attorney rules, third parties are required to rely on valid powers of attorney unless they have actual knowledge that the document is invalid, terminated, or has been revoked.
How to Get Power of Attorney in Georgia
To get power of attorney in Georgia, the agent discusses the issue with the principal, and both parties fill out a power of attorney form.
The state of Georgia provides a statutory power of attorney form, but it’s not mandatory to use the state-issued form.
You may use any form that “substantially reflects the language in the statutory form,” such as the ones on this page.
Georgia Power of Attorney Requirements
After you create your Georgia power of attorney, your document must be signed by:
- the principal (or if the principal cannot sign for any reason, another person can sign in his or her place, while in the presence of, and under the direction of, the principal)
- at least one witness, and
- a person authorized to administer oaths, such as a notary public