Power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters. This document is important to have in place in case you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions for yourself. It is important to understand who can sign as a witness for a power of attorney document.
The document must be signed by the person giving the power of attorney (the “principal”) and the person receiving the power of attorney (the “attorney-in-fact”). The document must also be witnessed. It can be witnessed by a lawyer who has given you legal advice on the document. Alternatively it can be witnessed by two adults with capacity. The witnesses cannot be the attorney being appointed or a family member of either the attorney or yourself.
When choosing a witness, it is important to make sure that the witness is over the age of 18 and is of sound mind. The witness must also understand the nature of the document and be able to attest to the fact that the principal is signing the document of their own free will.
The witness must also be present when the principal signs the document. They must also sign the document in the presence of the principal and the attorney-in-fact. It is important to note that the witness must also sign the document in the presence of each other.
The witness must also sign a certificate of witness that is included in the document. This certificate must include the name, address, and signature of the witness. The certificate must also include the date and place of the signing.
It is important to note that the witness must also sign the document in the presence of a notary public. The notary public must also sign the document and include their seal. This is to ensure that the document is legally binding.
It is important to make sure that you choose the right witness for your power of attorney document. The witness must be of sound mind and understand the nature of the document. They must also be present when the document is signed and sign the certificate of witness. It is also important to make sure that the witness is not the attorney-in-fact or a family member of either the attorney or the principal. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your power of attorney document is legally binding.