Legal Assistance Services Addendum

The following is not a complete list of legal services offered. It is simply additional information for the following services:


Many documents must be notarized to be effective.  A notary is a person authorized by law to authenticate or certify documents.  All of our attorneys, legalmen and civilian paralegals have such authority.  Notary service is provided on a walk-in basis so no appointment is necessary.  DO NOT sign the document until you are actually in the presence of the notary.  As with all services, bring your ID card.

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Powers of Attorney

  1. What is a Power of Attorney?

    In a “power of attorney” you give another person (called your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) the legal authority to act in your place and on your behalf in your absence. Every act your agent does within the authority granted in the document is legally binding upon you.

  2. Types of Power of Attorney

    A power of attorney is usually given by someone who will be unable to be present at a particular time and/or place when important transactions must be conducted. The scope of a power of attorney may be very broad or very narrow, depending on your needs. There are basically two types of power of attorney:

    1. General Power of Attorney: A general power of attorney provides your agent with all the power you possess to act with respect to any matter. It allows your agent the power to do all the things you could do yourself, such as sell or mortgage a home; deposit and withdraw money from accounts; borrow and sign contracts.

    2. Special Power of Attorney: A special, or limited, power of attorney authorizes your agent to do a certain specified act, such as ship household goods or sell an automobile.

  3. Uses of a Power of Attorney

    You should never grant any power of attorney unless you have absolute trust and confidence in the person to whom you are granting it. A power of attorney is subject to abuse of your trust. You should not grant a power of attorney, particularly a general power of attorney, unless the circumstances require it and your agent is a person whom you are sure will make wise and honest use of the power. When executing a general power of attorney, remember that the agent will not be limited by your judgment concerning the appropriateness of any transaction. In nearly every instance, granting a special power of attorney is not only sounder business practice, but also a protection against error in judgment or outright dishonesty. If a special power of attorney can possibly accomplish your needs, it is advisable to give it rather than the general power of attorney.

  4. Who needs a Power of Attorney?

    Those persons who are about to become physically separated from their property or their affairs, and whose property or affairs will be needing attention or management during their absence, may need a power of attorney. The document should grant no power greater than that which is needed under the circumstances. A power of attorney should be given for a limited time only. General powers of attorney are written for no more than one year.

  5. Durability Clause

    Normally a power of attorney becomes null and void if you become disabled. A “durable” power of attorney will allow your agent to continue to act even if you become disabled. Whether your power of attorney needs a durability clause depends on its nature and purpose, the amount of time needed, the degree of trust between you and your agent, and your age and health.

  6. Revocation

    The authority granted in your power of attorney ends with the death of either you or your agent. The power also terminates at the expiration of the time stated, or may be revoked by providing notice to your agent that you are revoking the power. Revocation will take effect as soon as it is communicated to the agent and to all persons who may have dealt with the agent in reliance on the power of attorney. It is advisable to recover all copies of the document and destroy them so no further use of the power may be made. If the power of attorney has been recorded as part of the public records (for example, with respect to real estate transactions), a properly acknowledged revocation should be recorded to ensure the revocation of the power of attorney is made effective. If you have previously executed a power of attorney which has served its purpose, retrieve it. If you cannot get it back, consult your legal assistance officer concerning the steps necessary to affect its revocation.

    When deciding which type of power of attorney to grant, remember that it is extremely difficult to revoke a general power of attorney.

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