This form is known as the North Dakota Durable Financial Power of Attorney. Its purpose is to appoint an individual or entity, referred to as the “attorney-in-fact,” to manage your financial affairs should you become incapacitated or unable to handle them yourself.

This document ensures seamless management of your affairs in unexpected circumstances, offering peace of mind and reducing potential legal complications.

The form consists of various sections detailing the scope of authority you wish to grant to your appointed attorney-in-fact and terms for when the powers become effective.

Your responsibility as the principal, or person creating the Power of Attorney, is to fill out this form accurately and comprehensively, specifying your attorney-in-fact’s powers according to your preferences and best interest.

Step 1: Name and Address 

 

You identify yourself as the principal, the person assigning the legal power to another individual, in this case, your attorney-in-fact.

If your name is John Smith and you live at 123 Park Lane in Bismarck, North Dakota, you would fill this in as: I, John Smith, the principal, of 123 Park Lane, State of North Dakota.

Step 2: Agent’s Details 

 

This field requires you to fill in the details of the person you assign as your attorney-in-fact, who will make decisions on your behalf.

So if you’re assigning your daughter, Jane Smith, living at 456 Elm Street in Fargo, North Dakota, you would fill it as:  hereby designate Jane Smith, of 456 Elm Street, State of North Dakota, my attorney-in-fact.

Step 3: Effective Date

 

This is when you want the attorney-in-fact to start their role.

Choosing this means your attorney-in-fact can start making decisions on your behalf right away. For instance, if you’re going abroad and want Jane to manage your finances during that time, you’d choose this.

Example: John Smith initials this option as he wants Jane Smith to start her duties right away.

 

Choosing this option means your attorney-in-fact will start their role only when a physician certifies that you can’t handle your financial affairs. This option is for those who want to retain control until they are physically or mentally incapable.

So if you foresee a situation where illness might hinder you and want Jane to take over only then, you’d choose this.

Example: John Smith initials this option because he wants Jane to take over only when he is deemed medically incapable of managing his finances.

Powers Of Attorney-in-fact

 

This section specifies the powers you, as the principal, may grant your attorney-in-fact. You should initial each power you wish to assign. The goal is to empower your agent to manage your financial affairs in your best interests.

 

1. Banking

 

If you grant your attorney-in-fact this power, they’ll have the authority to manage your banking transactions, including depositing, withdrawing, and spending funds for your benefit.

Example: You, John Smith, initial this option if you want Jane Smith to be able to manage your banking transactions while you’re abroad.

2. Safe Deposit Box

 

Your attorney-in-fact will have access to any safe deposit box you rent or have access to, including removing or surrendering its contents.

 

Example: John initials this section if he wants Jane to have access to his safe deposit box at his local bank.

3. Lending Or Borrowing

 

This power allows your attorney-in-fact to borrow money in your name and use your assets as collateral if necessary.

Example: John initials this option if he wants Jane to manage loans in his name, perhaps for an ongoing business project.

4. Government Benefits

 

Your attorney-in-fact can apply for and receive government benefits on your behalf, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

 

Example: John initials this option so Jane can manage his Social Security benefits while he’s unable to do so.

5. Retirement Plan

 

This allows your attorney-in-fact to manage your retirement plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), except for changing beneficiaries.

 

Example: John initials this option so Jane can manage his retirement plan investments while he is unavailable.

6. Taxes

 

Your attorney-in-fact can file your local, state, and federal tax returns, pay due taxes, and receive credits or refunds owed to you.

 

Example: John initials this section to allow Jane to handle his tax returns during his period of absence.

7. Insurance

 

This power allows your attorney-in-fact to manage your insurance affairs, including purchasing policies, paying premiums, and making claims.

Example: John initials this option so Jane can manage his health insurance matters while he is unavailable.

8. Real Estate

 

Your attorney-in-fact can manage your real estate affairs, such as buying, selling, or leasing properties on your behalf.

 

Example: John initials this section to give Jane the power to sell his summer home.

9. Personal Property

 

This grants your attorney-in-fact the authority to manage your personal property, such as buying, selling, or exchanging assets.

Example: John initials this section so Jane can sell his car if necessary while he’s away.

10. Power To Manage Property

 

This empowers your attorney-in-fact to maintain, repair, improve, manage, and deal with your real or personal property.

 

Example: John initials this option to let Jane manage rental issues of his properties.

11. Gifts

 

Your attorney-in-fact can make gifts, grants, or transfers on your behalf, including forgiving debts and completing charitable pledges you’ve made.

 

Example: John initials this option so Jane can continue his annual charity contributions.

Step 4: Legal Advice And Proceedings

 

Your attorney-in-fact can obtain and pay for legal advice and initiate or defend legal proceedings on your behalf.

 

Example: John initials this section to allow Jane to seek legal advice regarding his affairs.

Step 5: Special Instructions

 

You can use this section to provide any specific instructions that limit or extend the powers you’ve granted your attorney-in-fact.

Example: John writes “None” here if he has no additional instructions beyond those outlined above. If he does, he would write them in this section, for example: “My attorney-in-fact cannot sell my primary residence.”

Step 6: In Witness Whereof

 

This statement affirms that you, the principal, have executed (i.e., signed) this Financial Power of Attorney. You must fill in the date and sign this statement to make the document valid.

 

Example: “I, John Smith, have on this 15th day of August, 2023, executed this Financial Power of Attorney.”

Step 7: Notary Acknowledgment

 

This is the official confirmation by a notary public that you appeared before them, presented proper identification, and signed the document of your own free will.

It adds legal weight to the document. The notary public fills this part, and then signs and stamps it.

Step 8: Specimen Signature And Acceptance Of Appointment

 

This section is for the attorney-in-fact to accept their appointment formally. They must sign to indicate they acknowledge and accept their responsibilities.

Example: Jane Smith signs to accept her appointment as attorney-in-fact for John Smith.

Step 9: Notary Acknowledgment For Attorney-in-fact

 

Similar to the previous Notary Acknowledgment, this is the official confirmation by a notary public that the attorney-in-fact appeared before them, presented proper identification, and signed their acceptance of the appointment of their own free will. The notary public fills this part, signs it, and stamps it.

With these signatures and acknowledgments, the document becomes a valid, legal instrument. They prove that both parties willingly entered into this agreement, helping avoid disputes or confusion later.

These steps provide protection for everyone involved, ensuring the document was not signed under duress, misrepresentation, or mistake.

 

Conclusion

 

In conclusion, the North Dakota Durable Financial Power of Attorney is an important estate planning document that lets you protect your financial interests if you become incapacitated or unavailable.

By thoughtfully appointing an attorney-in-fact and granting them specific powers tailored to your situation, you ensure ongoing, competent management of your financial affairs.

Be sure to consult an attorney if you need help completing the form properly.

Once executed precisely according to North Dakota laws with all required signatures and acknowledgments, this power of attorney provides you and your loved ones welcome peace of mind.