Rhode Island Power of Attorney Forms
The Rhode Island Power of Attorney Forms are legal instruments that are utilized with the purpose of delegating decision making powers from one party (the Principal) to another (the Agent). The matters a Power of Attorney (POA) may cover are the prerogative of the Principal, and may include:
- Financial affairs,
- Childcare arrangements,
- Health care decisions.
What is a Rhode Island Power of Attorney?
A Rhode Island Power of Attorney is a contract made by an individual (known as the Principal) so that they may direct their decision making powers regarding one or more affairs to another individual or entity (known as the Agent). There are four main types of Power of Attorney (POA) that a Principal may choose to enact; Durable, General, Limited, and Springing. Each type sets out different conditions, limitations, and obligations which must be followed. Selecting the right type of POA is therefore a process that should not be done in haste, as once enacted, both the Principal and Agent are legally obliged to follow through on all of the terms they put their name to in the contract.
- Rhode Island Power of Attorney Laws – (Title 18, Chapter 18-16, “Rhode Island Short Form Power of Attorney Act”) and (Title 23, Chapter 23-4.10, “Health Care Power of Attorney”)
- State Definition of Power of Attorney – No state definition given.
- State Definition of Durable [Medical] Power of Attorney (§ 23-4.10-1.1(5)) – “means a witnessed document executed in accordance with the requirements of § 23-4.10-2.”
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (§ 18-16-2) – The POA must be signed and acknowledged by the Principal. While there are no other specific state-mandated signing instructions, it is strongly advised that such a signature takes place before a licensed Notary Public and two (2) witnesses.
- Health Care Power of Attorney / Advance Directive (§ 23-4.10-2) – Must be signed or acknowledged by the Principal, as well as by a Notary Public or two (2) qualified witnesses who are present at the time of signing or acknowledgment.
Durable (General) Power of Attorney – In the event the principal is rendered incommunicative due to medical complications, the decision making powers given to an agent to manage their finances will continue to be effective, as per usual.
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – An agent to a General Financial POA carries the responsibility of managing the principal’s finances only from the date of execution up until their hypothetical incapacity or death.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – This document forms a record of the mandatory parameters, established by a principal, that an agent must act within when implementing their given duties.
Health Care Power of Attorney (Advance Directive) – Sets out the end-of-life care wishes of the principal. For such a POA to be valid, it is a legal requirement that it is drafted and enacted prior to the principal’s incapacity or death.
Download – Adobe PDF
Motor Vehicle (DMV) Power of Attorney – Using this form, an individual can authorize another party to take their place in managing affairs related to their ownership of a motor vehicle.
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – Management of real estate is yet another area that may be delegated to another party using a POA. To do so, a principal must execute a POA that addresses such requirements specifically, as this document does.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – Circumstances that impact a POA, such as changes to the nature of the principal-agent relationship, may drive a principal to revoke the POA in its entirety. In such cases, the principal can see their decision through by filing a Revocation of Power of Attorney.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney (RI-2848) – In Rhode Island, residents must indicate their intention to appoint a power of attorney for tax filing purposes using a form known as RI-2838.
Download – Adobe PDF
Temporary Guardianship Power of Attorney (Form RC-2.1) – A contract that represents a parent or guardian’s consent to allow an attorney-in-fact to perform the responsibilities usually carried out by them in situations where they cannot do so themselves.
When is it Effective?
According to § 18-16-2, the primary requirement for a General / Durable Power of Attorney to be executed is that it is entered into by both parties (the Principal and the Agent) voluntarily, and that the form is signed and acknowledged by the Principal. Although not mandated by state law, it is always advisable for any POA to be signed before a licensed Notary Public as well as two (2) disinterested witnesses.
Whereas, it is stated by § 23-4.10-2, that a Health Care Power of Attorney / Advance Directive will only be effective if it is signed by the Principal in addition to a Notary Public or two (2) qualified witnesses. If witnesses are used, they must be present at the time of the Principal’s signing or acknowledgment of the POA. There are certain requirements the witnesses must meet in order to qualify for such a responsibility, namely, that they are not:
- A person the Principal designates as their agent or alternate agent,
- A health care provider,
- An employee of a health care provider,
- The operator of a community care facility, or
- An employee of an operator of a community care facility.