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Power of Attorney Between a Husband & Wife

Updated July 19, 2017

A husband or wife can execute powers of attorney and appoint the spouse as his or her attorney-in-fact. This is very common due to the trust placed for other activities, such as finances and child raising.

Definition

A power of attorney, a legal document signed by the principal giving another the authority to carry out tasks on his behalf, is designed to protect the principal’s interests. The person receiving authority should be a responsible person.

Types

The most common types are durable general, limited or specific, and health care. Any of these can be executed between a husband and a wife.

Signature

A power of attorney must be signed by or at the direction of a mentally competent person, over the age of 18, in the presence of two witnesses and a Notary Public.

Durable General Power of Attorney

This gives the agent the power to do anything the principal can do, except signing a last will and testament or living will.

Specific or Limited Power of Attorney

This is used for a specific act or for a limited time period, such as in real-estate transactions. The appointment is terminated after a stated time period—usually 30 days.

Health care Power of Attorney

Signed by the principal, this appoints an agent or attorney-in-fact to make health care decisions for the principal in case he is unable to voice his wishes due to mental or physical inability.

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About the Author

Robin Durand is a paralegal and college instructor in South Carolina. She received an associate's degree in paralegal studies from a technical college in South Carolina, and has more than 13 years' experience as a paralegal. She has been a freelance writer for over one year and enjoys writing articles relating to legal matters and house and home information.