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Types of Powers of Attorney Available in Maine


A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants one person, known as the agent, the authority to act on behalf of another, called the principal. This document can be used to manage financial affairs, health decisions and other important matters when the principal is unable to do so. POAs come in two primary forms: durable and non-durable. A durable POA remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated, ensuring continuity in decision-making. Non-durable POAs, by comparison, cease to be effective if the principal loses capacity. There are many types of POAs available that serve different purposes, and those types can depend on the state that you live in.

If you need help creating an estate plan, a financial advisor can walk you through different options based on your needs and goals.

How a Power of Attorney Works in Maine

The Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPAA) governs the creation and use of POAs in Maine. This act standardizes POAs across the state, providing clarity and consistency in their application. One unique aspect of Maine’s law is that all POAs are presumed to be durable unless explicitly stated otherwise. This means the agent retains authority even if the principal becomes incapacitated, ensuring continuous management of the principal’s affairs.

For a POA to be valid in Maine, it must be signed by the principal or by another individual in the principal’s presence and at their direction. Additionally, the signature must be acknowledged before a notary public or other authorized individual. Unlike some states, Maine does not require witnesses for a POA to be valid, although having witnesses can add an extra layer of authenticity and security.

In Maine, the scope of authority granted to an agent under a POA can be broad or limited, depending on the principal’s wishes. A general POA grants the agent comprehensive authority to manage all aspects of the principal’s affairs, while a special POA restricts the agent’s powers to specific tasks, such as handling real estate transactions or managing a particular financial account.

In Maine, a principal can revoke a POA at any time as long as they are mentally competent. The revocation must be in writing and communicated to the agent and any relevant third parties. Additionally, a POA terminates upon the principal’s death, the completion of the specified tasks, or the occurrence of a specified event outlined in the document.

Types of POAs Available in Maine

Clients meeting with an advisor to discuss powers of attorney in Maine.

In Maine, you have the option of different types of POAs, each serving distinct purposes and tailored to specific needs. Here are six of the most common options:

  • General power of attorney: A general POA grants broad authority to the agent to manage all aspects of the principal’s affairs. This can include handling finances, real estate transactions and other significant matters. It is often used when the principal requires extensive assistance in managing their daily activities.
  • Special or limited POA: A special or limited POA restricts the agent’s authority to specific tasks or decisions. For example, the agent might be authorized solely to sell a property or manage a particular bank account. This type is useful when the principal needs assistance with particular activities without granting full control over their affairs.
  • Durable POA: A durable POA remains effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated. In Maine, unless otherwise stated, all POAs are presumed to be durable, ensuring continuity in decision-making if the principal can no longer manage their affairs due to illness or injury.
  • Healthcare POA: A healthcare POA allows the agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal. This is critical if the principal becomes unable to communicate their healthcare preferences.
  • Springing POA: A springing POA becomes effective only upon the occurrence of a specified event, typically the incapacitation of the principal. This provides a safety net, ensuring the agent’s authority is only activated when absolutely necessary.
  • Financial POA: A financial POA specifically grants the agent authority to handle the principal’s financial matters. This can include managing bank accounts, investments and taxes.

How to Create a Power of Attorney in Maine

Creating a POA in Maine requires three key steps for the document to be legally valid and effective:

  • First, select a trustworthy and competent agent. This person will have significant authority over the principal’s affairs, so it is essential to choose someone reliable and capable of managing the responsibilities involved.
  • Second, the POA document must be drafted. In Maine, the document should clearly state the principal’s name, the agent’s name and the specific powers granted. It is advisable to use a standardized form or seek legal assistance to ensure all necessary elements are included.
  • Third, the principal must sign the document. If the principal is unable to sign, another person can sign on their behalf in their presence and at their direction. The signature must be acknowledged before a notary public or another authorized official. While witnesses are not required by Maine law, having them can add an extra layer of validity.

Once the POA is signed and notarized, it is important to provide copies to the agent and any institutions or individuals who may need to recognize the agent’s authority. This can include banks, healthcare providers and financial institutions. Consulting with a financial advisor or legal professional can also provide guidance and support in this process.

Bottom Line

A couple discussing their estate plan in Maine.

Understanding the various powers of attorney available in Maine is crucial for effective personal and financial planning. Each type offers unique advantages tailored to specific needs, ensuring that individuals can manage their affairs confidently and clearly. Whether for handling financial matters or making healthcare decisions, a well-drafted POA safeguards one’s interests and ensures their wishes are respected.

Tips for Financial Planning

  • A financial advisor can help you with your financial planning needs. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • As you embark on setting your own long-term goals, consider this guide to financial planning for retirement so you can ensure you think through everything to make your golden years great.

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