A power of attorney gives one person responsibility for the other person’s finances. The responsible party is known as the attorney-in-fact. How should the attorney-in-fact sign documents (checks for example) on behalf of the principal? The safest answer is to contact the institution and see if they have a preferred format. The Wall Street Journal advises as follows:
Suppose your ailing mother gives you a durable power of attorney, which means it will remain valid even if she becomes incapacitated. If you need to sign a check for her, the usual procedure is to write her name on the top line and then add your name and title underneath, Mr. Rubenstein [a New York attorney] says.
For example, you would write your mother’s name on the main line. Underneath it, you would write: “By (insert your own name), as attorney in fact.”
Nevertheless, don’t try to guess precisely what wording each bank will want. “It’s always good to check with the person who will be relying on the signature to confirm what form” the institution will accept, says Don Weigandt, managing director, wealth advisory, at the Private Bank at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank n Los Angeles.
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