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What is a Missouri Power of Attorney?

A Missouri power of attorney is a legal form that acts as authorization for an individual, referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions, healthcare decisions, real estate decisions, or estate decisions on behalf of the person granting the authority. A Missouri power of attorney is most often used for estate planning, but there are other instances where it is a useful tool.

Quick Reference:

The person granting permission is referred to as the principal, donor, or grantor.

The person receiving authorization is known as the agent or attorney-in-fact.

MO POA Laws:

A Missouri power of attorney is a power of attorney form must comply with Chapter 404 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes. These laws in the State of Missouri specifically outline the parameters of a legally enforceable power of attorney, and ensure that the form, as well as its duties, are protected under the law. To create a POA in the State of Missouri:

  • The principal and the agent must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind.
  • The principal's signature must be dated.
  • The principal must sign the POA in the presence of a notary public.

The principal can state within the document which powers the agent does and does not have. The principal also has the right to revoke (terminate) the power of attorney as long as they are competent. This is true even if the POA is durable.

Additionally, a Missouri power of attorney is terminated when:

  • The principal dies.
  • The principal becomes incapacitated and the POA is not durable.
  • The purpose of the POA is fulfilled according to its terms.
  • The expiration date within the POA has passed.
  • The agent resigns, dies, or is incapacitated and there is no successor agent or co-agent named in the POA.

Why Would You Use a Missouri Power of Attorney Form?

There are many reasons why someone would use a Missouri power of attorney form to give someone the ability to make decisions related to their personal property, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. Some of those reasons include:

  • Their age, mental health issues, or illnesses. They could want their affairs handled in specific ways. It is generally advised that everyone, including those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness and those who are in perfect health, have the right power of attorney in place to ensure their affairs are appropriately handled and that their wishes are fulfilled.
  • A person diagnosed with a mental illness may require a different power of attorney than a person diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • A person with dependent children may require a different power of attorney than a person without dependent children.

Each person’s power of attorney needs may vary. Thankfully, there are several types of power of attorney documents available. You should seek legal advice before choosing one to use so that you choose the one that is best for your needs. Additionally, this will provide you with the opportunity to ask how to revoke a POA should it become necessary for you to do so. Here are the most common Missouri power of attorney forms.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants broad agent authority unless specific powers are listed.

  • It is often used for financial matters. It becomes terminated if the principal become incapacitated, die, or if the principal revokes it.

Missouri Durable Power of Attorney

A Missouri durable power of attorney is an "extended version" of a general power of attorney because it goes beyond the parameters of a general power of attorney.

  • The term "durable" comes from the fact that this authorization continues over the principal's affairs if they become incapacitated. One of the most common forms of a durable POA is a durable power of attorney for healthcare. The principal retains the ability to terminate a durable power of attorney as long as they are considered competent.  

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney, also known as a special power of attorney, grants limited, specific power to whatever the principal specifies.

  • In many cases, an agent will have power to handle finances, or make medical decisions, but will not have authority to do other things such as sell property (depending on what the principal decides). Just like a general power of attorney, the authority terminates if the principal dies, becomes incapacitated, .

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney grants an agent the specific power to make healthcare decisions for the principal.

  • If the health care power of attorney is durable, the power will continue if the principal is declared incapacitated or incompetent. However, it does not allow the agent to make end-of-life decisions. A living will and advance health care directive are used by the principal to record their end-of-life desires and to appoint someone to ensure their wishes are carried out. The Missouri Bar provides a free PDF on both durable power of attorney for healthcare and a health care directive.  

Minor Child Power of Attorney

A minor child power of attorney allows a parent or guardian to grant decision-making rights over their child to a temporary guardian in the case that the parent or guardian may not be present during a medical emergency.

  • This form is generally used if the parent must leave the country for a period of time. This POA may also be used when the minor child is temporarily traveling or living with another adult who is not their parent or guardian.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

A real power of attorney grants power to the agent allowing them to buy, sell, and manage real estate on the principal's behalf.

  • It has the flexibility to be either durable or non-durable. Because of this, it is important that the principal seeks legal advice before using it.

Tax Power of Attorney

A tax power of attorney, officially known as Form 2827, allows the agent, generally a qualified individual such as an accountant, to prepare and submit tax information to the Missouri Department of Revenue on behalf of the principal.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

A vehicle power of attorney allows the agent to buy, sell, and handle the necessary paperwork with the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles on the principal's behalf.

Download a PDF or Word Template

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