What does it do?
The POA empowers the agent to make decisions and act with respect to the principal’s property. Unless expressly limited by the POA, the agent’s authority is broad and includes but not limited to managing real estate, making banking transactions, pursuing claims and litigation, and operating a business or entity. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2. The POA may also authorize the agent to make decisions on “all other matters.” 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-12.
Unless the POA expressly states otherwise, the POA is considered to be “durable,” which means the agent’s authority continues during a period when the principal lacks capacity. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2.
How does one make it?
The POA must be in writing that is dated and signed by the principal and notarized. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2. Although the POA may, but need not be, in the statutory short form provided at 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2, the POA must contain the notice in boldface type to the principal provided in the statutory short form. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2(d).
When does it come into effect?
The statutory short form may only be used to create a POA that takes effect immediately. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2(a). To create a “springing” POA, which takes effect only upon a future occurrence or contingency, such as the principal’s incapacity, the principal will have to use a different POA form. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2(c).
How long does it last?
The agent’s authority can be of indefinite duration or terminate on a specified date, unless the principal terminates the POA by either revocation, destruction or other affirmative action demonstrating the principal’s intent to end the POA. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2(a).
How does one end it?
Unless the POA specifies a date when it automatically ends, the agent’s authority will end either when the principal dies or revokes the POA. 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2.
What does an example look like?
A statutory short POA form is available at 18 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 18-16-2.
What else should one know?
Rhode Island’s statutory short POA is not based on the UPOAA.
Last update November 2022