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What is a Short Form Power of Attorney?

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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A short form power of attorney is a document provided in regional statutes that the grantor can fill out and use to grant powers and rights to someone to manage his or her financial or health care affairs. A power of attorney can be written by a lawyer or using legal software, but the forms are often free and found in a Short Form Power of Attorney Act or similar act that was passed into law by the regional government. The forms often state the type of power of attorney, and there are lists of powers that the grantor can check to indicate which rights he or she is granting.

Some regions have a specific short form for granting someone else the right to make health care decisions. The form is often called the Short Form Power of Attorney for Health Care. The agent or attorney in fact is given the authority to access medical records and make medical treatment and hospitalization decisions for the grantor. It also often includes broad powers to make general health care decisions.

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A grantor can use a short form power of attorney to give authority to an agent to handle all of his or her financial and property affairs, even after the grantor becomes incapacitated or physically disabled. The form often used in these cases is a short form durable general power of attorney. In the form, the grantor can appoint one or more agents, and often there is an option to check a box that states that co-agents can work separately or jointly, which means that they must agree on all decisions. For example, a grantor might designate a husband and wife to act as co-agents to manage his or her property, and require that they agree on all decisions prior to taking action. Some forms also require the grantor to write his or her initials next to finance-related tasks listed on the short form power of attorney, and if a power or right isn't initialed, courts will find that the agent does not have any authority in that area.

Revoking a short form power of attorney is no different from a long form power of attorney. The grantor has to revoke it prior to being disabled or adjudicated as incompetent. It can be done in writing, but often the region that provides a short form does not provide a statutory form for revoking it. A short form power of attorney often terminates if the agent is a spouse and the marriage ends in dissolution or divorce. The termination is automatic, and often no written document is required to revoke it under those circumstances.

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