NH POA Laws:
A New Hampshire power of attorney is a power of attorney form that must comply with Chapter 564-E of New Hampshire’s statutes, also known as the state’s Uniform Power of Attorney Act (Chapter 564-E Article 1). This act specifically outlines the parameters of a legally enforceable power of attorney and ensures that the form, as well as its duties, are protected under the law. Here are some of the state’s power of attorney requirements:
- The principal must be a legal adult.
- The power of attorney agreement must be in writing.
- The document must be the same, or substantially similar to the statutory form.
- Two witnesses that can attest that the principal is signing the form with a sound mind and is not under undue influence; New Hampshire law does not require the principal to sign the POA in the presence of a notary public unless the document will be used for real estate transactions.
- The form must include a disclosure statement that says that this is substantially the same form as the state provided document prior to its execution.
The principal can specifically state which powers the agent can and cannot use on their behalf. The principal has the right to revoke (terminate) the POA, even if it is durable, as long as they are competent. Additionally, a power of attorney ends when:
- The principal dies.
- The principal becomes incapacitated, and the power of attorney is not durable.
- The purpose of the POA is fulfilled.
- The agent dies, becomes incapcitated, or resigns without a co-agent or a successor agent being named.
Why Would You Use a New Hampshire Power of Attorney Form?
There are several reasons why someone would use a New Hampshire power of attorney form to give someone the authority to make decisions related to their tangible personal property, financial institution transactions, tax matters, or their well-being. Some of those reasons include:
- Age, mental health reasons, and illnesses. They may want their affairs handled in specific ways. It is generally advised that everyone, including those who are terminally ill and those in perfect health, establish the right power of attorney to have their matters appropriately handled and their wishes fulfilled.
- A person with a mental illness may require a different type of POA than a person with a terminal illness.
- A person with dependent children may have the need for a different power of attorney than a person with no dependent children.
Each person’s POA needs may vary. Thankfully, there are several types of power of attorney documents. Before you decide to use a power of attorney, you should seek legal advice. Ask about the best POA to suit your needs and how to revoke a POA if it becomes necessary. Here are a few of the most common.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney is commonly referred to as a power of attorney because it grants a single agent the authority to handle matters on behalf of the principal.
- However, this POA is terminated if the principal dies or if the principal becomes incapacitated. The principal has the right to terminate the POA as long as they are competent.
Durable Power of Attorney
A 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 if they were to become disabled or incapacitated. The National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives provides a free PDF of New Hampshire's state law regarding durable health care powers of attorney. The principal can revoke the power of attorney as long as they are competent.
Limited Power of Attorney
A limited power of attorney grants limited power to whatever the principal specifies.
- In many cases, an agent will have the power to make financial decisions or make medical decisions, but will not have the authority to do other things such as manage real estate transactions (depending on what the principal decides). Just like a general power of attorney, the POA expires if the principal dies or becomes incapacitated. A limited power of attorney ends when its purpose is fulfilled.
Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney is used to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal.
- It can be nondurable or durable. If it is nondurable, it loses its validity if the principal is declared incompetent or incapacitated. If the POA is durable, the agent continues to make decisions if the principal is declared incompetent or incapacitated, but the agent cannot make end-of-life decisions. New Hampshire law provides a statutory form to create a durable medical power of attorney. For end-of-life decisions, the principal must complete a living will or an advance healthcare directive while they are of sound mind to record their wishes. Southern New Hampshire Health provides multiple free resources for advance directive planning. The principal has the right to terminate the POA as long as they are competent.
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 or guardian must leave the country for a period of time. It is also used when the child is living with or traveling with someone else that is not the child’s parent or guardian.
Real Estate Power of Attorney
The real estate power of attorney grants power to the agent to buy, sell, or manage real estate on the principal’s behalf.
- It can be flexible or limited. The State of New Hampshire requires that any real estate power of attorney be signed by the principal in the presence of a notary public.
Tax Power of Attorney
A tax power of attorney allows the agent, who is usually a qualified individual such as an accountant, to prepare and submit tax information to the 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 New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles on the principal's behalf.