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How Do I Become a Legal Representative?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 09 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many ways to become a legal representative. If you want to do so as a professional, you can go to college and law school in an effort to become a lawyer. You can also obtain legal representative status without any formal education or training. In such a case, a court or individual may grant you power of attorney or name you as executor of a will. Additionally, you could be appointed the legal guardian of a minor or an adult who is unable to make decisions for himself.

One way to become a legal representative involves going to school to become an attorney. If you want to take this route, you will likely have to graduate from high school and then spend about four years in college earning a bachelor's degree. After graduating from college, in most jurisdictions, you will then have to complete law school and pass a licensing examination to become a lawyer.

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There are some situations in which you can become a legal representative without attending law school or seeking licensing. You can, for example, seek the right to make legal decisions for someone through a power of attorney. For instance, a loved one may wish to grant you the power to make legal decisions on his behalf when he is traveling or otherwise unable to handle matters himself. In such a case, you will likely receive this authorization through a document called a power of attorney, or something similar. You, as the person who is granted the right to make legal decisions for another, will typically be referred to in the document as the attorney-in-fact.

Guardians also act as legal representatives, and as with an attorney-in-fact, require no specific education or training. A legal guardian has the right to make a range of decisions for another person, including those related to food, shelter, education, and medical care. You can be appointed guardian by a court or by the parents of a minor.

You can even become a legal representative by agreeing to act as the executor of another party's will. In this role, you agree to wrap up the deceased party's affairs, including ensuring that the assets mentioned in the will are transferred to their new owners. You may also have the job of ensuring that the deceased party's bills and taxes are paid. You don't need any special training to become a will executor, and in most cases, the person who creates a will chooses someone he trusts for this task. Sometimes, however, a court appoints an executor.

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