General and Durable Power of Attorneys in New Mexico
In certain circumstances, you may find yourself unable to handle personal business matters relating to property, including money. A general power of attorney, also called a durable power of attorney, allows you to assign an agent to manage these affairs on your behalf. It essentially allows the agent’s signature and activities to be just as legally binding as if you signed the documents yourself.
Essentially, the durable power of attorney grants your agent the ability to act on your behalf in all personal legal and financial matters. It is important that you choose an agent that you can trust. If you are unsure about giving the agent carte blanch with the document, you should consult one of our attorneys before moving forward.
What Makes a New Mexico General Power of Attorney Valid?
A New Mexico notary must witness the signing of the power of attorney for it to be valid. If not specified, the POA will take effect immediately, and it will remain in effect until the principal revokes the agent’s authority. If you want the POA to only take effect under certain circumstances, our attorneys can assist with a springing power of attorney instead.
When to use a Durable Power of Attorney in New Mexico
With legal marriages on the decline, many couples find themselves faced with complications in handling personal business. Companies, financial institutions, and other legal entities will refuse to speak to anyone other than the principal without gaining their permission for every individual interaction. If you want your significant other to handle matters on your behalf without this hassle, you will need to present the company or entity with a durable power of attorney.
A durable power of attorney is also extremely useful if you become mentally incapacitated due to an accident or health condition such as dementia. It will allow your agent to act on your behalf without the necessity of obtaining legal conservatorship through a court proceeding.
A general power of attorney does not allow the agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. If you want to cover those bases, talk to one of our lawyers about advance healthcare directives that only go into effect when you are unable to speak for yourself.
Self-Service vs Attorney Drafted Power of Attorneys
Do you really need a lawyer to draft a power of attorney? New Mexico courts offer a self-service general power of attorney form that can be printed, filled out, and signed in front of and by a notary. However, this form potentially grants the agent broad powers that you would have in your own affairs, indefinitely or for a specified amount of time, without limitations, and it also may be missing some powers that would make sense in your specific situation. In short, the statutory form may not be right for everyone, and in some cases, a limited power of attorney might be better for your situation.
It is best to consult a lawyer before signing any power of attorney, especially if the POA was not your idea. Our legal team stands ready to answer your questions and help you choose the right type of power of attorney for you.