There is a lot of misinformation about powers of attorney. For instance, many people believe that a power of attorney must be filed with the court to be valid. For a power of attorney to be valid in Georgia, it must be signed by the principal, a witness, and a notary. It does not have to be filed or recorded with the court to be valid.
A power of attorney is signed by the principal, which is the person creating the power of attorney. It must also be signed by a witness and notary. However, the witness and notary cannot be interested, or be your power of attorney. An interested witness or notary is someone who may benefit from your power of attorney. For example, your spouse or child would be considered an interested witness.
Most people begin thinking about a power of attorney, after a visit to a bank or other financial institution. Usually, it happens when you try to open, close, deposit, withdraw, or do any other activity with the bank account of a loved one you are trying to assist. The bank representative will request a power of attorney, and you may not have one or they may say it is invalid. It is important to remember that you should only receive legal advice from an attorney that is licensed in your state. Financial institutions are not allowed to give you legal advice. If you have questions about powers of attorney or want to know if your power of attorney is valid, give us a call.