Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document signed by a person authorizing another person to act for him or her. If you write and sign a Power of Attorney, you are the principal; the person you authorize to act on your behalf is called an attorney in fact.

How do you select your attorney in fact?

An attorney in fact does not have to be a lawyer but must be a legally competent adult. It is absolutely critical that the attorney in fact be someone whom you deeply trust. A casual friend, a roommate, a boyfriend, or a girlfriend is a poor choice. We suggest family members or very mature friends with an established history of financial responsibility.

Who needs a Power of Attorney?

Students traveling abroad or studying abroad
who will need:

  • to maintain their bank/checking accounts,
  • to receive and cash financial aid checks, and/or
  • to renew enrollment with financial aid and/or with the University.
A financial power of attorney is not necessary for brief excursions such as Spring Break

When should you obtain a Power of Attorney?

If you want a Power of Attorney prepared free of charge by STUDENT LEGAL SERVICE, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with the office as soon as you have a firm departure date and return date.
You will be asked to supply a proper name and address for your attorney in fact and an alternate attorney in fact in case your primary attorney in fact becomes incapacitated. The day before you leave is not the best time to obtain serious legal documents.

What do you do with the document?

The Power of Attorney is signed in the presence of a Notary Public by you as principal and witnessed by two other competent adults.
The original Power of Attorney is given to the attorney in fact to be presented to banks and other financial institutions as if you were personally present. As principal, you should retain a copy of the Power of Attorney.

What is Ratification?

As principal, you are holding those who rely on the written Power of Attorney presented by your attorney in fact harmless as long as the use was lawful and within the scope of the terms of the document. The bank is not liable for allowing the attorney in fact to clean out your account if the document permits general transaction of business, but the attorney in fact could be sued for theft and breach of fiduciary duty.

How can I revoke the Power of Attorney?

Your Power of Attorney can be revoked by

  • physically destroying the document,
  • allowing the document to expire on the date on the face of the document, or
  • supplying written notice of revocation of Power of Attorney to the attorney in fact and any entities that may rely upon your Power of Attorney

What information do I need to fill out the paperwork requesting a Power of Attorney be made for me?

  1. Full legal names of the person you wish to designate as your primary attorney in fact and an alternate.
  2. Current home address, the address at which your attorney in fact will be living for the duration of the Power of Attorney and that of your alternate.
  3. Social Security numbers of your primary attorney in fact and the alternate.
  4. Inclusive dates for the duration of the Power of Attorney.
Go online to our website to fill out and print the AO Intake Form (email submission will be available in the future); then bring it in to the Student Legal Service office OR come into the office to fill out the paperwork (be sure to bring your I-card).
Either way, you have to come into the office with your I-card to set up an appointment to come back to execute the Power of Attorney.