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What is a North Dakota Power of Attorney?

A North Dakota power of attorney is a legal document that provides authorization for an individual, referred to as the 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 North Dakota POA is most often used in estate planning, but there are other instances when 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 the attorney-in-fact.

ND POA Laws:

A North Dakota power of attorney must comply with state law Title 30.1-30, the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act of North Dakota’s Century Code. It specifically outlines the parameters of a legally enforceable power of attorney. It also 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 document must be signed by the involved parties.
  • The principal must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The principal must be of sound mind and understand what they are signing.
  • Two witnesses must affirm that the principal is not under any duress and acting both voluntarily and of sound mind.
  • The attorney-in-fact must accept their appointment in writing.
  • The form used must be the same or significantly similar to the state provided form.
  • According to the North Dakota Supreme Court, the principal's signature must be notarized.

The principal has the right to express which powers the agent may or may not use on their behalf. The principal also has the legal right to revoke (terminate) the POA with notice.

Why Would You Use a North Dakota Power of Attorney Form?

There are many reasons why someone would want to use a North Dakota power of attorney form to give another person the reason 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, or illnesses. They may want their matters handled in specific ways. It is generally advised that everyone, including those who are terminally ill and those who are in perfect health, use the right power of attorney forms to have their matters appropriately handled as well as their wishes fulfilled.
  • A person diagnosed with a mental illness may require a different type of power of attorney than a person diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • A person with dependent children may need 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 forms available. Before you decide which to use, you should seek legal advice to make sure you choose the one that will best meet your needs. You should also ask how to revoke a POA should it become necessary for you to do so. Here are the most commonly used Noth Dakota power of attorney forms used.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney grants an agent the ability to make broad decisions on behalf of the principal.

  • This type of POA is often viewed as a financial power of attorney. However, this power of attorney is revoked if the principal becomes incapacitated, if they die, or if they revoke it.

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 even if they become incapacitated. A principal may revoke a durable power of attorney as long as they are still considered competent.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney is also known as a special power of attorney. 

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

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A North Dakota healthcare power of attorney is used by the principal to appoint an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal.

  • However, according to the North Dakota courts POA download, a healthcare power of attorney cannot be made durable. If the principal becomes incapacitated, the POA becomes invalid. The North Dakota Department of Human Services provides a free PDF of a health care directive for anyone who would like to create one. A health care directive is used to make decisions in the event that the principal is declared incapacitated and cannot make their own decisions.

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 minor is temporarily traveling with or living another adult.

Real Estate Power of Attorney

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

  • This type of POA may be durable or non-durable. Because of the potential issues that could arise from the use of this POA, talk with an attorney before using this document.

Tax Power of Attorney

A tax power of attorney, officially known in North Dakota as Form 500, allows the agent who is usually a qualified individual such as an accountant, to prepare and submit tax information to the State of North Dakota's Office of State Tax Commissioner on behalf of the principal.

  • The title of the form is the Authorization to Disclose Tax Information & Designation of Payee.

Vehicle Power of Attorney

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

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