Table of Contents
- Download a Minnesota Power of Attorney Template
- Minnesota Power of Attorney Requirements
- Creating and Validating a Minnesota POA
- Types of Power of Attorney Documents
- How Much Authority Does a POA Get?
- Can a POA be Revoked?
- Does a Minnesota POA Handle Medical Decisions?
1. Download a Minnesota Power of Attorney Template
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2. Minnesota Power of Attorney Requirements
In Minnesota, any person who runs a business and owns real estate and other assets should create a power of attorney (POA) to ensure their family and assets are protected and handled in case an emergency arises.
A power of attorney is a legal document authorizing a person to handle duties on another’s behalf. A principal decides how much power an agent has over his/her affairs. A POA gives written permission for someone to take care of a host of property and money matters, such as buying and selling property, handling banking, and signing and managing business duties, in the principal’s absence.
Power of Attorney PDF Sample
The power of attorney (POA) sample below gives “Agent” Anita J Bennett the authority to make financial decisions in the event that “Principal” Wanda M Allen is incapacitated. Anita has the authority to handle issues dealing with Wanda’s property, stocks, insurance, and business.Minnesota Power of Attorney (Financial)
3. Creating and Validating a Minnesota POA
The Office of the Minnesota Attorney General provides a downloadable Minnesota power of attorney form. However, individuals do not have to use the form provided by the attorney general’s office; they can also create their own forms.
To validate a power of attorney document in Minnesota, it must be in writing and adhere to Chapter 523, Section 523.23 of the Minnesota Statutes of Fiduciaries; Powers of Attorney and include:
- The principal’s name and address
- The agent’s name and address
- The correct date
- The powers granted
- The signature of a notary public
- The date of when powers begin and expire
Why Create a Power of Attorney Document?
In Minnesota, if a person is unable to handle business or financial duties for periods of time, he/she may want to create a power of attorney. A power of attorney also is useful because it can allow another person to handle the powers authorized if a principal becomes incapacitated due to a medical emergency or health crisis.
In the case of those who become incapacitated and do not have durable power of attorneys in place, their spouses, companions, or closest family members will have to request a court proceeding for conservatorship. During that proceeding, the court would determine which person has the authority to handle the incapacitated person’s financial affairs.
Powers of Married Couples
In Minnesota, married couples may pay bills using joint bank accounts if one of them becomes incapacitated. Otherwise, their powers are limited, including selling real estate that the couple owns together.
Though this type of agreement can help in case a situation occurs, having a power of attorney does not restrict a principal from handling any of the described powers on his/her own.
POA Agent Selection
Due to the sensitive decision making that an agent can make for another person, principals must be reflective when selecting who they will empower on their behalves. Principals should choose trustworthy agents who are most likely to handle their responsibilities honestly.
4. Types of Power of Attorney Documents
General vs. Special POAs
A general POA gives an agent the authority to conduct all of a principal’s business and other duties. A special, or limited POA, authorizes an agent to conduct certain business activities or other specified acts or decisions for a principal.
Durable vs. Non-Durable POAs
A durable power of attorney remains valid when a principal becomes incompetent or incapacitated. Most durable power of attorneys take effect immediately. Durable power of attorney documents must include “This power of attorney shall not be affected by incapacity or incompetence of the principal.”
Those documents that take effect after a principal becomes mentally incapacitated are called springing power of attorney documents. A non-durable power of attorney expires when a principal is no longer competent enough to make his/her own decisions.
5. How Much Authority Does a POA Get?
In Minnesota, the agent named in a POA has as much or as little power as a principal wants. A principal can authorize an agent to handle all or some of the following powers:
- Use assets to cover the cost of day-to-day expenses for the principal and his/her family
- Buy, sell, maintain, or pay taxes on real estate
- Manage Social Security, Medicare, civil service, or military service benefits
- Invest money in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds
- Handle banking transactions
- Buy and sell annuities
- Buy and sell insurance policies
- File and pay personal or income taxes
- Handle and manage business duties
- Claim property, such as inheritance
- Manage retirement accounts
In Minnesota, if principals want agents to make gifts to themselves or to any person the agent has legal obligation to support, this must be specifically expressed in the power of attorney document. In addition, a POA should note if a principal wants an agent to keep an accounting of any gifts.
6. Can a POA be Revoked?
In Minnesota, a competent person can revoke a power of attorney by putting in in writing and have signed and dated in front of notary. The principal should send the revocation form to the agent and any business or entity that has the original power of attorney on record. Principals who do not take the step of informing every one of the change leave themselves open to liability.
If a person’s agent is also his/her spouse, the POA is automatically terminated following a divorce.
The Office of the Minnesota Attorney General also provides a downloadable Revocation of Power of Attorney form. Alternatively, individuals can create their own revocation POA forms.
7. Does a Minnesota POA Handle Medical Decisions?
A power of attorney does not grant any person power to make health or medical decisions on another’s behalf. Those who want to give someone that authority must create a health directive.
A health directive allows a person to name a health agent who is authorized to make health care decisions if a person is unable to make their own decisions. The document also can outline the health care wishes, such as whether or not to remove life support, of the person who initiated the document. Furthermore, a person can indicate on the form whether a health agent can choose providers or procedures on behalf of the person and review the person’s medical records.
A downloadable health directive form can be found at The Office of the Minnesota Attorney General or individuals can create their own medical care forms.
For a health care directive to be valid, it must include:
- The principal’s name
- The health agent’s name, relationship to the principal, address, and phone number
- The date of the agreement
- The signature and date of a notary