Instrument: Power of Attorney (POA)

What is it for?
A “power of attorney” (POA allows an adult (the “principal”) to designate another (the “agent”) with the power to manage financial decisions on the principal’s behalf.

What does it do?
The POA empowers the agent to be able to make a broad or limited range of decisions and act with respect to the principal’s property. The agent may not make decisions for the principal about the principal’s health care. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.005(6).

All acts done by an agent during a period in which the principal is incapable of doing so have the same effect as though the principal were capable of doing so. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.005(4).

In making decisions for the principal, the agent must use the property of the principal for the principal’s benefit. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.045.

Third parties may generally accept decisions made by the agent as if the principal had made them.

How does one make it?
A POA must be in writing and specify the scope of the agent’s authority and when the agent’s authority begins. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.005(1).

When does it come into effect?
A POA can state that the agent’s authority begins either immediately upon execution, at a future date, or upon the occurrence of a future event. If the agent’s authority begins on a future date or upon the occurrence of a future event, it is also sometimes called a “springing” POA. For a springing POA, the POA may designate a person or persons to determine whether the specified event or contingency has occurred, and the manner in which the determination must be made. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.005.

If the agent’s authority becomes effective upon the principal becoming “financially incapable” and the POA does not designate who will make this determination, then it may be made by any physician in writing. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.005(3). “Financially incapable” is defined as a condition in which a person is unable to manage financial resources of the person effectively for multiple reasons, including mental illness, physical disability, or disappearance. “Manage financial resources” means those actions necessary to obtain, administer and dispose of real and personal property, intangible property, business property, benefits and income. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 125.005(3).

How long does it last?
A POA generally lasts until the principal or agent dies; the principal revokes the POA; the POA provides that it terminates upon some future date or event; the purpose of the POA is accomplished; or the agent’s authority is revoked. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.015.

How does one end it?
A POA may be revoked either by the principal, presumably by any act manifesting this intent, such as by destroying the POA. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 127.015.

What does an example look like?
Oregon does not provide a statutory sample POA form.

What else should one know?
Oregon’s POA is not based on the Uniform Power of Attorney Act.

Last updated July 2022

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