Military Power of Attorney

Military Power of Attorney Counsel

So, you’re in the military, and you’re expected to be deployed overseas for a long period of time with limited access to the outside world. What happens to your bank accounts? Your property? Your bills that need to be paid? These concerns can all be addressed with a military power of attorney.

It is not uncommon for members of the military to need power of attorney because of the nature of military duties. To hand off their responsibilities, they will need to properly sign over their affairs to a trusted representative. This could be their spouse, friend, sibling, or whoever they trust to have power over their legal and financial matters. Wilkie Law Firm is a skilled civilian military attorney with over 20 years of experience. Located in Jacksonville, Wilkie serves the entire state of North Carolina as well as its surrounding states. He is also able to service any military installation located in the United States, but travel fees will apply.

What is Military Power of Attorney?

Power of attorney, or POA, is a legal document that gives someone the ability to act on another’s behalf. A POA can be a person or organization appointed to control someone’s legal or economic affairs. Military power of attorney is often used when a service member is deployed and has limited communication or access to technology. This might be property, medical, or financial affairs. They’re given this power in the case that the person responsible is unable to manage it themselves.  

What Are The 3 Types Of Power Of Attorney?

There are different types of power of attorney. Each possesses its own level of control. These are general, special or limited, and durable powers of attorney. We’ll break each of these down below.

In the case of a general power of attorney, the designated person is able to act on nearly any legal matter. This is done for a specified amount of time. This broad range of legal matters could include any of the following:

  • Buying assets or property
  • Investing in assets or property
  • Exchanging or selling assets or property
  • Handling insurance
  • Handling bank accounts
  • Settling claims
  • Business interests of any kind
  • Making donations or gifts
  • Binding contracts of any kind

Because a general power of attorney has access to so many of your assets, you’ll need to be careful in choosing this route and representative. General power of attorney is often used in the military when someone is deployed for long periods of time and needs someone to handle all their assets until they return. Should you decide this is best, make sure the person is financially responsible and that you can trust them.

A special or limited power of attorney is one that is given specific powers for a designated amount of time. When drafting this POA, you will list particular matters in which you wish for them to handle. It may be that you want them to handle only matters dealing with real estate or business transactions. 

Special or limited POA is most often used when the individual is experiencing health problems or is simply bogged down with commitments. It can also be used when a service member is expected to be gone for a shorter period of time. 

A durable power of attorney is one that will remain intact even in the case you become mentally or physically incapacitated. Say you choose a general or special or limited POA while you’re still able to handle your own affairs. If in the future, you become incompetent or unable to, these POAs will immediately become invalid. That is unless you specify durable power of attorney. 

Having a durable power of attorney in line in case of your incapacity removes the possibility that a court will order a guardian or conservator for you.

Military Power of Attorney FAQs

Getting power of attorney in any type is done as a cautious measure to avoid future complications. You’re already making a cautious decision in assigning one, but you also need to be careful in how you go about getting one. There are a few things to consider when obtaining a military POA. 

First, determine what kind of POA you need. General, special or limited, or durable. 

Every state is different in how they handle powers of attorney. You’ll need to contact a lawyer in your area to figure out the specific applications you must sign. Wilkie Law Firm can help you figure out what all is needed from you in the state of North Carolina to obtain POA.

Next, you’ll need to get the proper forms. Most application forms can be accessible on government sites. Your lawyer can also obtain them for you. Once you have all the forms, you’ll just need to cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s. 

Finally, be sure to review the forms with your lawyer to ensure you signed everything you need to. They will make sure everything is in the proper legal language. They will also be able to notarize the documents for you.

Who is able to legally override POA depends on a few factors. One factor is the type of POA in question. The other is why the override is being pursued in the first place. 

In any case, the person who the power of attorney is acting over, also called the Principal, is able to override the decision at any time.

However, there are times when the Principal may not be able to see themselves being exploited or taken advantage of. For example, if the person has a durable POA and they’ve become incapacitated. The person assigned POA, or the Agent, is legally required to act in the best interest of the Principal. If a close family member notices that the agent elected to care for their loved one’s financial or medical matters is abusing their power, they may be able to override them. This family member could be a parent, spouse, child, or sibling.

If it is your own POA you wish to revoke, you can do so at any time as long as you’re mentally competent. You’ll need an attorney to execute the cancellation. 

If it is someone else’s POA, you’ll need to be related to the Principal in some way. If you meet this criteria, the next steps are as follows:

  • Obtain a lawyer
  • Speak with the Principal
    • If the person is mentally stable, express your concerns with them. They may hear you out and revoke the POA themselves.
  • Approach the Agent
    • If the Principal refuses to terminate the POA, ask the Agent to respectfully step down. You can do this through your attorney to avoid face-to-face conflict. 
    • If the Agent refuses, the POA will fall onto an Alternate Agent if one is listed. In the case that there is no Alternate Agent, you will then need to make a court application. 
  • Prepare yourself for court
    • You and your lawyer will need to convince the judge that the Agent has abused his or her power. You will also be required to prove that the Principal is mentally unstable and cannot see this for themselves. 

Contact Wilkie Law Firm, Military Defender

If you are a service member interested in obtaining a POA, let the Wilkie Law Firm help you. Aden Wilkie is located in Jacksonville, NC and services armed forces at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg as well as a number of other bases, camps, stations, and posts in the United States. Call us at 910-333-9626 or fill out our online form today for a free consultation. Decide for yourself if the Devil Dog Defender, aggressive military defense attorney, is the best choice for you.