What does a Power of Attorney cost? When you need a Power of Attorney drafted, it is common to wonder how much it will cost to obtain this important document. Let's explore this question and review some general information about Power of Attorneys.
How Much Does a Power of Attorney Cost?
A Power of Attorney , often abbreviated to POA, is a legal document that gives one person the power to act for another person. The agent-in-fact can make decisions on behalf of the principal in the areas of property, finances, or medical decisions depending on the power of attorney's permissions.
There are five common types of Power of Attorneys:
- General POA
- Durable POA
- Medical POA
- Special or Limited POA
- Springing Durable POA
Each of these agreements serves a different purpose and grants the agent different levels of authority.
Getting help from a family lawyer or probate lawyer to draft a Power of Attorney is highly encouraged because this contract is an important document that gives another individual the power to make crucial decisions in your life.
It is imperative that the Power of Attorney is drafted correctly and the document clearly expresses your wishes about what powers to grant your agent and in what areas their authority is limited.
Based on data from ContractsCounsel's marketplace, the average cost of a project involving a Power of Attorney is $295 .
Power of Attorney cost depends on different factors like the complexity and length of the document.
What's Typically Included in a Power of Attorney
While the contents of a Power of Attorney document will vary based on the type of Power of Attorney and the specific needs of the principal, most POA's include the following basic information:
- Title: The form or document should have a title that describes whether the POA is a General, Durable, Medical, Special, or Springing Durable Power of Attorney.
- Date: The document needs to be dated when it is signed. Some POAs will have a specific start date, and that also needs to be included.
- The Principal and the Agent: The principal and agent's names and addresses should be at the top of the Power of Attorney. It is important to identify these two parties.
- Specific Powers: The specific powers are the responsibilities that the principal is granting the agent. These powers will vary depending on what type of Power of Attorney is being executed.
- How Powers are Revoked: The agreement should include an expiration date or a description of how the POA ends. This can sometimes be as simple as "when the POA responsibility has been completed."
- Compensation: If the principal is paying the agent for their services or any expenses related to the agent performing their duties, this should be outlined in the document.
- Signatures: Both the principal and the agent need to sign the Power of Attorney to show that they agree and accept all terms
- Notarization: The Power of Attorney must be notarized
- Witnesses: Some states require the signatures of two witnesses over the age of 18 on a Power of Attorney.
Different states may have additional requirements for a Power of Attorney. If you are unsure of your state's requirements, it is recommended that you consult with a family lawyer or probate lawyer who can assist you with a Power of Attorney.
What Does a Power of Attorney Allow You to Do?
The powers granted to an agent with a Power of Attorney will vary depending on the type of POA and any limitations that the principal chooses to include in the POA. General and Durable Power of Attorneys allows the agent to perform just about any action on behalf of a principal. A Special or Limited POA limits the agent's authority to a very specific action.
There are specific actions that an agent can never perform no matter what type of Power of Attorney is executed. These actions include:
- Changing the principal's will
- Make decisions after a principal's death
- Change or transfer the Power of Attorney
Types of Power of Attorney
General Power of Attorney: With a General POA, the agent can perform almost any act on behalf of the principal.
- Opening bank accounts
- Managing finances
- Buying or selling real estate
- Corresponding with government agencies
A General POA ends when the principal revokes the POA, becomes incapacitated, or dies.
Durable Power of Attorney: A Durable POA grants the same authority as a General POA. The difference is that if the principal becomes incapacitated, the Durable POA will still be in effect.
Medical Power of Attorney: A Medical POA allows the appointed agent to make medical decisions for the principal if the principal is incapacitated and cannot express their wishes themselves.
Authorities granted in a Medical POA include:
- Ability to speak to doctors
- Preventing or approving surgeries
- Decisions about organ donation
- Release of medical records
Special or Limited Power of Attorney: This document grants the agent the authority to act on behalf of the principal for a particular purpose like cashing a check or signing a real estate document. Once the specific task is completed, the Special or Limited POA expires.
Springing Power of Attorney: A Springing POA or conditional POA goes into effect if a specific event occurs. The designated event could be a medical condition or accident, but a Springing POA is often used when someone in the military is deployed overseas.
Examples of When You May Need a Power of Attorney
People execute Power of Attorneys for many different purposes. If a person cannot act on their own behalf at any time, they need to appoint an agent through a Power of Attorney to act for them.
Some examples of when you may need a Power of Attorney include:
- An older adult appoints a family member to handle medical and financial decisions
- Military personnel deployed overseas may select an agent to manage their personal affairs at home
- A person who is incarcerated may have a Power of Attorney to handle their finances, like accessing bank accounts to retain an attorney
- A person may want a Power of Attorney in case they are in an accident and become incapacitated and need someone to make decisions for them or care for children
Explore some of our Power of Attorney lawyers .
Drafting Power of Attorney Cost
Drafting a Power of Attorney comes with costs because it usually requires the time of a trained lawyer to complete the project.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows the average Power of Attorney drafting costs to be $250 across all states.
How Do Lawyers Charge for a Power of Attorney?
Family lawyers and probate lawyers can charge for services in several different ways. Two common ways a lawyer charges for services are by an hourly rate pay structure or a flat fee payment structure.
Hourly Rates for Power of Attorneys
Many family and probate lawyers choose to bill their time at an hourly rate. The lawyer will bill the client a set rate for the time spent drafting the Power of Attorney. This is usually the safest way for the lawyer to charge clients because if the assignment takes more time than expected, the attorney can charge for that time. However, for a client, hourly rates can cause some anxiety because they don't know exactly how much their bill will be.
According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average hourly rate for a family lawyer or probate lawyer ranges from $250 - $350 per hour.
Flat Fee Rates for Power of Attorneys
A flat fee billing structure is a pre-arranged total fee for legal services usually paid upfront before the lawyer begins work on your project. Flat fee rates are becoming more popular for contract drafting projects. One benefit of flat fee billing is that both the attorney and the client will have a precise total cost of the project. In addition, the lawyer is paid upfront for their work and does not have to keep track of billable hours and spend time invoicing the client.
ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows that the average flat fee rate for a Power of Attorney costs $295 .
Get Help with a Power of Attorney
Do you need help with a Power of Attorney? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel's marketplace to receive flat fee bids from family and probate lawyers to handle your project. Our team vets all lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform to ensure you are provided with top-tier service.