A durable power of attorney (POA) empowers an individual to assist you with your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation.
To get financial power of attorney in Kentucky to handle tasks like depositing checks, filing taxes, or managing property transactions, one can establish a Power of Attorney (POA).
This document grants authority to a trusted person, referred to as an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” for specific tasks.
Below, you’ll find a guide on creating one in Kentucky.
What Types of Power of Attorneys Are Available in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, you can create two essential POAs that remain effective in case of incapacity:
- Financial POA: Empowers someone to manage your financial and business affairs.
- Health Care POA: Allows someone to make medical decisions for you. In Kentucky, this includes a living will, creating an “advance directive.”
These are typically “durable” POAs, retaining their power even if you’re incapacitated. It’s advisable for most individuals to have both, as they provide essential contingency planning.
What Are the Legal Requirements of a Financial POA in Kentucky?
For your POA to be valid in Kentucky, it must meet certain requirements.
Mental Capacity for Creating a POA
The person creating a POA must be mentally competent, but Kentucky courts may interpret this requirement differently.
If in doubt about someone’s mental capacity when helping them with a POA, seek advice from an estate planning attorney.
Although Kentucky doesn’t technically mandate notarization for your POA, it’s strongly advised.
Notarization lends credibility, and it’s often necessary for acceptance by financial institutions and for real estate transactions. In the past, two disinterested witnesses were required, but since mid-2018, notarization alone suffices.
Having witnesses might be wise in cases of potential conflict or disputes.
1. Create the POA Using Software or an Attorney
Creating a POA in Kentucky offers several options:
- Use private company forms or templates.
- Opt for user-friendly software like WillMaker.
- Consult a Kentucky lawyer, often part of a broader estate plan.
Your POA can grant broad or specific powers to your agent, such as real estate, financial, retirement, stock, business, government benefits, tax, and personal matters. In Kentucky, the default is a durable POA unless specified otherwise in the document.
2. Sign the POA in the Presence of a Notary Public
As mentioned above, in Kentucky, you should have the POA notarized.
3. Store the Original POA in a Safe Place
After finalizing your POA, keep the original document in a secure yet accessible location.
Your loved ones should know where it’s stored because if you become incapacitated, your agent may require the original POA to act on your behalf.
4. Give a Copy to Your Agent or Attorney-in-Fact
Share a copy of the power of attorney with your agent to ensure they are familiar with its contents.
5. File a Copy With the Land Records Office
If your agent has real estate powers, file a copy of your POA in the county clerk’s office where you own property in Kentucky.
This ensures your agent’s authority is recognized for real estate transactions.
6. Consider Giving a Copy to Financial Institutions
Provide copies of your durable financial POA to relevant institutions, like banks, to streamline future dealings for your agent.
This can ease potential hassles when they need to use the POA.
Who Can Be Named an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact in Kentucky?
Legally, any competent adult can be your agent, but practical factors like trustworthiness and location are vital. While Kentucky permits co-agents, it’s often best to have a single agent for simplicity.
However, designating a “successor” agent as a backup is a wise choice.
When Does My Durable Financial POA Take Effect?
By default, your POA is immediately effective unless stated otherwise for a future date or event.
While you can set conditions for it to “spring” into effect, this approach is generally discouraged due to various reasons.
When Does My Financial Power of Attorney End?
A power of attorney terminates at your death. A durable POA also ends if:
- You revoke it while mentally competent.
- No agent is available, unless you’ve named a successor agent.
- A court invalidates it due to mental incompetency, fraud, or undue influence.
In Kentucky, if your spouse is your agent and you file for divorce, their authority ends, but the POA remains valid, and the successor agent steps in if appointed.