Power of Attorney
I have a General Power of Attorney form from a Publishing Co. that is brief and general. However, I will be using this Power of Attorney in order for my father to act on my behalf in my native country (where he still resides). Will this Power of Attorney be effective in any country/anywhere? Should I specifically designate a Power of Attorney for the U.S. and one for my native country, or is that even possible?
There is a section on the back of the form which addresses Colorado revised Statute 15-14-502. This is where the ''undersigned'' (which I assume would be my father) affirms that he had no knowledge of the ''revocation or termination of the Power of Attorney by death, etc...'' Obviously, my father cannot sign this as he is not here. Will this pose any problems?
Please be as specific as possible with your reply.
Thank you very much for you time!
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Power of Attorney
If your father will be acting on your behalf in a foreign country, a Colorado durable power of attorney may not work. You should consult with an attorney in that country regarding the laws there on powers of attorney. You will probably need to execute a power of attorney that complies with the laws of the country where your father will be acting. Further, unless your father plans to come to the U.S. and act as your agent here, there would be no reason to create a second power of attorney for Colorado.
If you were to have need of a second, Colorado power of attorney, I recommend that you do not use the form you have. It is not very comprehensive and may not include the specific powers you intend to give to your father. It would be better to have a Colorado attorney prepare one for you that will be customized to your situation.
C.R.S. Section 15-14-502 provides that an agent under a power of attorney may execute an affidavit to the effect that he or she has no knowledge of the principal's death or any other act or event that would revoke the power of attorney. This affidavit is to be considered conclusive proof of the continued validity of the power of attorney. Your father would have to sign this affidavit and have his signature notarized. Again, if your father will only be acting outside of the U.S., this affidavit may not be effective.
Re: Power of Attorney
It is generally not adviseable to use a fill-in-the-blank form that you purchase. One of many problems with such products is that they are crafted so generically so as not to address specific needs or situations.
Second, there are traps in generic documents that could apply that you would not be aware of. One of many is the failure to use a "durable" type Power of Attorney. If you don't, then the document would have no applicability beyond your disability. Another problem is the failure to provide alternate agents.
Powers of Attorney are governed by the laws of the jurisdiction in which they are created. In the U.S. that means that they are creatures of state law, unless they are specifically federal, such as the type of Powers of Attorney provided for by the I.R.S.
Whether a Colorado Power of Attorney would be effective at all in a foreign country would be a matter for the laws of that country. A better approach would be to have a Power of Attorney specifically used in that country for use in that country.