A Minnesota power of attorney is a written legal instrument used when the principal, due to illness, old age, or other reasons, authorizes another adult (an agent) to handle their financial, business, or property affairs.
Given the importance and potential impact of a power of attorney, it is crucial to understand its purpose, requirements, and limitations.
It’s also important to know the difference between the different types of power of attorney documents, so you can choose one for your needs accordingly.
Types of Power of Attorney in Minnesota
Minnesota Durable (Statutory) Power of Attorney Requirements
In contrast to a regular power of attorney, which expires once the principal loses the capacity to make decisions, a durable power of attorney remains valid even after the principal's incapacity. (523.07)
Minnesota General (Financial) Power of Attorney Requirements
A Minnesota general power of attorney grants the agent broad powers to manage the principal's financial affairs. This can include managing the principal's property, buying and selling stocks, shares, and other securities, signing financial contracts, and representing the principal in legal proceedings.
Minnesota Limited (Special) Power of Attorney Requirements
With this type of power of attorney, the principal authorizes the agent to perform specific tasks or duties in any of the principal's matters. It is crucial for the agent to not exceed the limits of their powers, as they will be legally responsible for any unauthorized actions.
Minnesota Parental (Minors) Power of Attorney Requirements
In Minnesota, a parent, legal custodian, or nonprofessional guardian can grant authority to an agent through a minor power of attorney. The agent can make decisions regarding the care, custody, or property of a minor or incapacitated person for up to one year. (524.5-211)
The same applies when a professional guardian issues a power of attorney, with the exception that the power of attorney can only be valid for a maximum of 30 days.
Minnesota Medical Power of Attorney Requirements
A medical power of attorney or health care directive is a document used to establish the authority that an adult will have to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal when the physician determines that the principal is no longer capable of doing so.
Minnesota Springing Power of Attorney Requirements
A Minnesota springing power of attorney specifies certain conditions that must be met before it takes effect. Typically, the condition is the inability of the principal to make decisions on their own.
Once the condition is met, the springing power of attorney "springs" into effect, allowing the agent to act on behalf of the principal.
Minnesota Vehicle Power of Attorney Requirements
A Minnesota vehicle power of attorney must specifically grant the agent the authority to perform tasks related to the principal's vehicle. This includes transferring ownership, registering the vehicle, or applying for a duplicate title.
Minnesota Revocation of Power of Attorney Requirements
The principal can revoke a power of attorney by signing a written instrument of revocation. If the written instrument is signed by a third party on behalf of the principal, it must be acknowledged by a public notary to be considered valid.
Revocation of an unexecuted power of attorney becomes effective only when the parties are properly notified of the revocation. (523.11)
Minnesota Tax Power of Attorney Requirements
This power of attorney grants power to the agent with respect to the principal's tax matters, such as filing tax returns, negotiating with the Minnesota Department of Revenue, and receiving tax refunds.
Minnesota Real Estate Power of Attorney Requirements
In Minnesota, the principal can authorize an individual or a real estate agency to perform tasks related to the principal's real estate, such as buying, selling, leasing, or managing real estate.
Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Minnesota
To be in accordance with all legal requirements, a power of attorney in Minnesota must meet the following criteria:
Age and mental capacity. Both the principal and agent must be adults of sound minds. A medical expert or the court must decide if there is any doubt about the principal's or agent's mental competence.
Signature, date, and written form. A valid power of attorney must be in writing, contain the date of issue, and bear the principal's signature.
Notarization. A power of attorney must be certified by a notary public only if it was signed by someone on behalf of the principal, as well as when it comes to power of attorney for medical care.
Who Can Be an Agent for a Power of Attorney in Minnesota?
An agent or attorney-in-fact can be an adult of sound mind who expressly agrees to act on behalf of the principal. It is important that the agent carry out legal and factual actions in the best interest of the principal and in good faith, as they have a legal obligation to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the principal.
How to Create a Minnesota Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney in Minnesota
#1. Decide on Which Type of Document to Use
When deciding what kind of power of attorney to use, it is important to define the specific areas in which the agent should act and the scope of their powers. This will help determine the appropriate type of power of attorney needed to achieve the desired outcomes.
#2. Select an Agent
The agent can be any adult who is 18 years of age or older and who has mental capacity.
However, it is important to choose someone you trust to act in your best interests. While not necessary, having knowledge or experience in the relevant areas of representation is beneficial.
#3. Define the Agent’s Powers
In the power of attorney, the rights and duties of the agent should be specifically outlined. By defining the agent's powers with precision, the principal can ensure that their interests are protected, and the agent can carry out their duties with clarity and confidence.
#4. Download & Fill in Our Form
To protect your interests when authorizing someone to act on your behalf, you can download the appropriate power of attorney form from our website and fill in all the necessary information accurately.
#5. Get it Signed & Notarized
The principal must sign a power of attorney for it to be legally valid. On the other hand, a power of attorney should be notarized only when it is signed by someone else on behalf of the principal or when a medical power of attorney is used.
#6. Safely Store the Original Copy
The principal should keep the original power of attorney copy as evidence of granting the powers to the agent.
#7. Provide Copies to Relevant Parties
Provide a copy to your agent so that they can present it to institutions or other parties as needed. This will help to ensure that your agent's authority is recognized and respected.
For a minor power of attorney, the parent who issues the power of attorney in Minnesota is obliged to provide a copy of the document to the other parent within 30 days of its execution.
#8. Update the Document as Needed
When the principal decides to expand or narrow the agent's powers, they should update the power of attorney. It is important to ensure that any changes to the agent's powers are properly documented and communicated to all relevant parties to avoid confusion or disputes.
How Long Does a Power of Attorney Last in Minnesota?
When a power of attorney has a stated expiration date, whether it is durable or non-durable, it will cease to be effective at the end of the day on which the stated expiration date falls. Additionally, the expiration date must be a specific month, day, and year. (523.075)
A non-durable power of attorney is terminated upon the occurrence of certain events, such as the death of the principal or the principal becoming incapacitated or incompetent. (523.09)
On the other hand, a durable power of attorney terminates when the principal passes away. (523.08)
Minnesota Power of Attorney FAQ
A power of attorney can be used when you need someone you trust to make important decisions or take actions on your behalf, such as managing your finances, making healthcare decisions, or handling legal matters.
A power of attorney gives someone else the legal authority to act on your behalf, allowing them to make decisions and take actions as if they were you, which can be helpful in situations where you are unable to do so yourself.
According to Minnesota law, the only situations that require notarization are when the power of attorney was not signed by the principal personally or when it was a medical power of attorney.
Having a power of attorney in place can be important during your lifetime if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself.
However, even if you have a power of attorney, it is still important to have a will to ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes after your death.