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How to sign a check with power of attorney

Updated December 15, 2016

If someone gives you power of attorney over his financial matters, you can sign checks for him. Power of attorney is just an agreement where one person (the principal) allows another person (the agent) to act on the first person’s behalf. These agreements are beneficial for anyone who needs someone else to handle business transactions for them. They are especially common among the elderly or the seriously ill.

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  1. Verify that the principal (or the person who has granted you power of attorney for herself) has notified her bank of your power of attorney agreement. Verify that the principal has provided a copy of the power of attorney document to the bank if the bank requires it.

  2. Fill out the check with the appropriate information, including the payee, date and memo fields. Be sure that all fields are legible.

  3. Sign your name on the signature line as it appears on your legal identification documents. Add “under P.O.A.” and the date of the agreement underneath or beside the signature to notify the recipient that you are acting in place of the owner of the check.

  4. Tip

    Banking institutions vary on their guidelines regarding power of attorney and writing checks. Contact the bank if you have any questions about how to use your power of attorney.


    Only sign checks as a power of attorney if the principal has granted that power to you. If the power of attorney agreement does not give you power to act in financial matters, signing the check may be a criminal act.

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About the Author

Michaele Curtis began writing professionally in 2001. As a freelance writer for the Centers for Disease Control, Nationwide Insurance and AT&T Interactive, her work has appeared in "Insurance Today," "Mobiles and PDAs" and "Curve Magazine." Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Louisiana State University.

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