Real estate transactions involve significant investments, and thus, they require a level of security and legality that safeguards all parties involved. That’s where the South Dakota Real Estate Power of Attorney form comes into play.

This legal document allows an individual, referred to as the Principal, to appoint another person, known as the Agent, to handle their real estate affairs on their behalf.

It is a robust instrument that confers certain responsibilities and powers to the Agent, granting them the legal authority to act in the Principal’s best interest.

The form plays a critical role in real estate planning, especially when the Principal can’t be directly involved due to distance, health issues, or other personal circumstances.

Step 1: Appointment


This field establishes the principal parties involved in the Power of Attorney document. The Principal is the person granting the power, and the Agent is the person receiving the authority.




Step 2: Principal


The individual giving someone else the authority to act on their behalf. The Principal needs to provide their full legal name. It is key to provide the correct name as it identifies who is conferring the authority.

Example: If your name is John Smith, you would put “John Smith” in the space provided.



Step 3: Mailing Address


The physical location where the Principal can receive mail. This could be a home or work address. It’s important because it gives a clear point of contact for the Principal.

Example: If your address is 123 Apple Street, Aberdeen, you’d write “123 Apple Street, Aberdeen” in the relevant field.


Step 4: Agent


The person appointed by the Principal to act on their behalf. Just like with the Principal, it’s important to provide the full legal name to ensure the document is legally binding.

Example: If you’re appointing your brother, Mike Smith, you’d fill in “Mike Smith” in the space provided.




Step 5: Agent’s Mailing Address


Like the Principal’s, this is the physical location where the Agent can receive mail. This information is critical for the same reasons as the Principal’s address.

Example: If your brother lives at 456 Pear Lane, Aberdeen, you’d fill in “456 Pear Lane, Aberdeen”.


Step 6: Second Agent


This section covers the contingency plan if the first-named Agent is unable to serve. It underscores the importance of having a backup plan, ensuring that the Principal’s interests are looked after, no matter what happens.

No other individual: If the Principal doesn’t want to appoint a secondary Agent, they’d tick this box. For instance, if John Smith feels only Mike Smith can handle his affairs, he’d choose this option.

Another Agent: This is chosen if there’s another person who can step in if the initial Agent can’t serve. The Principal would provide the secondary Agent’s name and address, similarly to the first Agent’s.

Example: If John wanted to appoint his friend, Sarah Johnson, as the backup agent, he’d write “Sarah Johnson” and her address in the corresponding spaces.



Step 7: Real Estate



This section defines the extent of real estate this Power of Attorney covers. It could be a single property or multiple properties, depending on the Principal’s holdings and requirements.

A Single-Property: If the Power of Attorney pertains to a specific property, tick this box and provide the property’s address. This focuses the authority given to the Agent and clearly defines their scope.

Multiple Properties: For a broader scope, covering all properties owned by the Principal, this box would be checked. It empowers the Agent to handle affairs across all of the Principal’s real estate assets.

Example: If John has a specific rental property at 789 Cherry Drive, he’d select this and provide the property address.



Step 8: Real Estate


This section outlines the various powers the Principal can grant to the Agent. Each option represents a different level of authority, affecting the Agent’s ability to act on the Principal’s behalf.

Selling, Purchasing, Management, Financing: These terms represent different capacities in which the Agent can operate.

Selling refers to the power to sell property, Purchasing is the ability to buy property, Management involves maintaining and overseeing property, and Financing concerns handling any financing related to the property.

It is important to select and initial all that apply to clearly define the Agent’s role.

Example: If John wants Mike to handle both buying new property and overseeing existing ones, he’d initial and check the boxes for Purchasing and Management.



Step 9: Term


This section defines the duration of the Power of Attorney. The Principal can choose to set a specific end date, link the duration to their capacity to make decisions, or have it last until their death or revocation.

End Date: If the Principal wants the Power of Attorney to end on a particular date, they’d fill this in.

Example: If John wants the Power of Attorney to last only until December 31, 2025, he’d fill in that date.



Step 10: Principal’s Incapacitation


This makes the Power of Attorney “non-durable”, meaning it ends when the Principal is incapacitated or unable to make decisions.

If the Principal wants the Agent’s power to stop if they become incapacitated, they’d select this.


Step 11: The Principal’s death or revocation


The Principal might choose this if they want the Power of Attorney to last indefinitely, only ending upon their death or if they actively revoke it.


Step 12: Durable


This section is where the Principal decides whether the Power of Attorney will continue if they become incapacitated – a key consideration when planning for future scenarios.

NOT be Valid: The Principal would select this option if they want the Power of Attorney to be non-durable, meaning it ends if they become incapacitated.

Remain Valid: The Principal chooses this if they want a durable Power of Attorney that remains in effect even if they’re incapacitated. This ensures that, even if they can’t make decisions themselves, their chosen Agent can continue to act in their best interests.

Step 13: Execution 


This section validates the Power of Attorney document and gives it legal effect. It specifies how it should be witnessed, providing a safeguard against fraud and ensuring the Principal’s intentions are respected.


Step 14: Notary Public, One (1) Witness, Two (2) Witnesses


This choice is for the Principal to determine how the document is verified. Some jurisdictions require notarization, while others accept witness(es). The Principal should check local laws and regulations and initial and check the appropriate box.

Example: If South Dakota law required notarization, John would initial and check the box for “Notary Public”.



Step 15: Principal’s Signature


The Principal must sign here to make the document valid. This demonstrates their agreement with the terms and their intent to give the Agent the powers specified.

Example: John would sign his name here.



Step 16: Print Name


The Principal must print their name here for clarity, eliminating any confusion about their identity.

Example: John would write “John Smith” here.


Step 17: Date


The date when the Principal signs the document, which could be important for establishing timelines and determining when the power starts.

Example: If John signed the document on July 30, 2023, he would write that date here.


Step 18: Notary Acknowledgment


This section is completed by the notary public, who confirms that they’ve verified the Principal’s identity and witnessed them freely sign the document.


Step 19: Location


The location where the notarization takes place. The notary fills this out.


Step 20: Day of


The date when the notarization takes place.


Step 21: Appeared


The name of the Principal appearing before the notary.


Step 22: Notary Public and Print Name


The notary signs and prints their name, verifying that they’ve overseen the process and are satisfied that the document is being signed willingly.


Step 23: My commission expires


The date when the notary’s commission expires. The notary fills this out.



Step 24: Witness Acknowledgment



If the Power of Attorney is being witnessed rather than notarized, the witnesses would complete this section, affirming that they saw the Principal sign the document willingly and that they believe the Principal is of sound mind.


Step 25: 1st and 2nd Witness Signature, Print Name


The witnesses sign and print their names, confirming that they have witnessed the execution of the document.

Example: If John’s neighbors, Alice and Bob, are serving as witnesses, they would each sign and print their names in the appropriate places.


Step 26: Mailing Address


The addresses of the witnesses. This provides a way to contact them if needed.


Step 27: Phone


The phone numbers of the witnesses, providing an additional way to contact them.




In summary, the South Dakota Real Estate Power of Attorney form provides a legal, comprehensive, and secure way to manage real estate transactions when the Principal can’t do so themselves.

This form ensures that every detail is explicitly outlined and understood by all parties, including the scope of the Agent’s authority, the timeframe within which they can act, and under what conditions their powers cease to be effective.

Moreover, the witnessing or notarization requirements provide additional security and authenticity to the process.

This document not only helps in protecting the Principal’s interests but also provides a clear directive for the Agent, ensuring transparency, compliance, and peace of mind for everyone involved.