How to Get Financial Power of Attorney in South Carolina: A Guide

A durable power of attorney (POA) in South Carolina lets someone help you with your money if you can’t.

You can use it to give specific powers to someone you trust, like depositing checks, filing taxes, or selling your home.

This person is called your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.

Discover how to get a financial power of attorney in South Carolina with our detailed guide.

Learn the steps and requirements to empower a trusted individual to manage your finances in case of incapacity.

An Image of Financial POA
How to Get Financial Power of Attorney in South Carolina. Photo Source (Freepik)

What Kinds of Powers of Attorney Can You Get in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, you can make different types of POAs.

Many estate plans have two main ones:

  1. A financial POA lets someone manage your money and business matters.
  2. A healthcare POA lets someone make medical decisions for you.

These POAs stay effective even if you can’t make decisions.

It’s a good idea for most people to have these documents in case something unexpected happens.

What Legal Rules Must a Financial Power of Attorney (POA) Follow in South Carolina?

To make sure your power of attorney (POA) is valid in South Carolina, it must meet certain rules:

  1. Mental Capacity: The person creating the POA (the “principal”) must be mentally capable and understand what the POA means. If you’re not sure, ask a lawyer for help.
  2. Witnessing: You need to sign your POA in front of two adult witnesses, just like you would for a will.
  3. Notarization: Your POA must be signed by a notary public to be valid.
  4. Recording: After signing and notarizing your POA, it’s important to record it at the land records office in your county. This step is especially important in South Carolina, where all POAs made in 2017 or later must be recorded. Recording helps ensure your agent can use the POA if you become unable to make decisions.

It’s a good idea to record your POA as soon as possible, even if you’re not incapacitated yet, to avoid any problems later on.

How to Create a Financial Power of Attorney (POA) in South Carolina

Here’s how to create a financial power of attorney (POA) in South Carolina:

  1. Create the POA: You can use software or a lawyer to make your POA. You’ll decide what powers you want to give your agent, like handling money or property. In South Carolina, POAs are usually durable, which means they stay valid even if you’re unable to make decisions.
  2. Sign and Notarize: Once you’ve made your POA, you need to sign it in front of two witnesses and get it notarized by a notary public.
  3. File a Copy: You should keep the original POA in a safe place, but it’s a good idea to file a copy with the land records office in your county.
  4. Give a Copy to Your Agent: Make sure your agent, the person you’ve chosen to manage your affairs, has a copy of the POA.
  5. Consider Giving Copies to Financial Institutions: It might be helpful to give copies of your POA to banks or other places where your agent might need to use it in the future.

Who Can be Appointed as an Agent or Attorney-in-fact in South Carolina?

You can choose any capable adult to be your agent.

Consider how much you trust them and where they live.

It’s usually best to have just one agent to avoid problems.

But you can have more than one if you want.

It’s smart to have a backup agent in case your first choice can’t help you.

When Does My Durable Financial Power of Attorney (POA) Become Effective?

Your POA starts working right away unless it says it starts later.

You can also make it start only after something specific happens, like a doctor saying you can’t make decisions.

But this type of POA isn’t usually a good idea for many reasons.

When Does My Financial Power of Attorney (POA) Expire?

Your power of attorney ends when you die.

A durable POA also ends if:

  • You cancel it while you’re mentally capable.
  • No one is available to be your agent, but you can choose another person.
  • A court says your document is not valid because you weren’t able to think clearly when you signed it, or someone tricked or pressured you.

In South Carolina, if your spouse is your agent and you get divorced, their authority ends, but your POA stays the same.

Conclusion

A durable power of attorney in South Carolina allows someone to manage your finances if you’re unable to.

This guide explains how to create one, including specific powers and legal requirements.

It discusses different types of POAs, like those for finances and healthcare, which remain valid even if you’re incapacitated.

The article emphasizes the importance of having these documents for unexpected events.

The rules for POAs in South Carolina include being mentally competent, having witnesses, notarization, and recordkeeping.

The guide outlines the steps to create a POA, such as selecting an agent, signing it, notarizing it, filing it, and providing copies to relevant parties.

It advises against using a “springing” POA that only activates in specific situations.

The article concludes by explaining circumstances under which a POA terminates, like at your request, if you become incapacitated, if a court invalidates it, or in case of divorce if your spouse was your agent.

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