Sunday, June 3, 2012

Military Monday- Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know

Why you need it
      In the military, there are bound to be times when things need to get done but your husband wont be available to do it.  For most processes either your sponsor needs to be present or you need a power of attorney that says you have his permission to carry out said processes.


Times that it's useful
      Any time your husband may be absent or you are expected to handle the logistics of the family, a POA would be handy.  During our previous move from Georgia to Germany, I did the majority of the planning and had to carry copies of the POA with me wherever I went.  If your husband is deploying soon, a POA is essential because he can't just come home and help settle problems like: getting new ID cards, closing out a bank account, handling upcoming PCSes.  Even if you don't end up needing one, it's a wonderful security to have in you're back pocket.

Where to get it
       Your sponsor can pick up a POA at the JAG office.  Once he/she goes to the office, there is a quick form that they'll have to fill out, it'll get notarized, and viola!  POA  It's essential to take care of this before your sponsor leaves for things such as TDY or deployment because it can take an extensive amount of time to receive a POA in the mail.  If something happens that requires a POA stat, you don't want to be stuck in a lurch waiting for it to arrive.

The two types:
General
      As a married soldier with dependents this form of POA is sometimes the most beneficial form but by no means is a soldier limited to it.  A general POA has very little restrictions as to what the holder of the POA can do in the soldier's name.  The holder can take out leases on homes, open and close bank accounts, take care of "military issues" such as ID cards and PCS details.  The general POA should only be given to those that you trust thoroughly because of the extensiveness of what it allows.


Specific
       Most single soldiers opt for this form of POA because it is more restricted and their lack of dependents requires less flexibility.  As a soldier, with this POA you can list any actions that you would like to allow the holder access to and in addition can add clauses in which you restrict the holder from certain powers.  The specific POA can be as extensive or broad as needed and multiple POAs can be held.  There is no need to feel that you have to put all your trust in a general POA because the specific POA can be catered specifically to your needs.

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