A financial or medical power of attorney is a legal document where one person (the “principal”) grants another person (the “agent”) the “power of attorney” to act on the principal’s behalf in certain cases. For example, a principal could grant an agent the power to act on their behalf, e.g.: withdraw money, sell property, etc. It’s important to have someone you trust as your agent under power of attorney, because this power generally starts immediately and not just once you are incapacitated.
If you have been granted the power of attorney, you may have to sign documents on the principal’s behalf. Colorado law does not specify how this signature must appear, but various organizations have listed the minimum requirements of signing while using your granted power of attorney:
- Your written/typed name;
- Your signature;
- The written/typed name of the person you’re acting on behalf of; and
- A written/typed phrase stating you are acting as an agent pursuant of the power of attorney.
These don’t need to be in any specific order. For example, the American Bar Association has recommended two different forms of signing:
(Principal’s name), by (Your signature) under Power of Attorney
(Your signature), attorney-in-fact for (Principal’s name)
At the end of the day, it just needs to be clear that you are the person who has the power to sign on behalf of the principal and that you’re not just trying to forge the signature as your own. You also need to have all of this information in every place you sign on the principal’s behalf.
Finally, if a notary is involved, that person should only notarize your signature and presence, and not the principal’s (since the principal would not be available). The notary should specify that you, in your capacity as an agent appeared before them to sign the document.
Andersen Law PC regularly works with power of attorney documents, and various trusts and estates documents that could be signed by agents pursuant to that power of attorney. If you have questions about this process or would like more information, please contact Andersen Law PC at 720-922-3880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Kameryn Brill