South Carolina Power of Attorney Forms
The South Carolina Power of Attorney Forms serve as a legal recording of the decision of an individual (legally referred to as the Principal), to permit another individual or entity (legally referred to as the Agent) to act in the role of their representative in one or more circumstances. The Agent’s role entails fulfilling certain obligations in the principal’s best interests. For this reason, it is vital that a Principal selects an Agent they believe consistently uphold this responsibility.
What is a South Carolina Power of Attorney?
A South Carolina Power of Attorney is a contract that imposes certain obligations on the two parties to it—the Principal and the Agent—so that the former can delegate their decision making powers about specified matters to the latter. South Carolina’s current Durable and General power of attorney laws are relatively new; effective January 1, 2017, the South Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act replaced certain sections of the South Carolina Probate Code (Title 62).
- South Carolina Power of Attorney Laws – (Title 62, Article 8, ” South Carolina Uniform Power of Attorney Act”) and (Title 62, Article 5, “Protection of Persons Under Disability and Their Property”).
- State Definition of Power of Attorney (§ 62-8-102(7)) – “means a writing or other record that grants authority to an agent to act in the place of the principal, whether or not the term “power of attorney” is used.”
- State Definition of Health Care Power of Attorney (62-5-501(4)) – “means a durable power of attorney executed in accordance with this part.”
- Signing Requirements
- General / Durable Power of Attorney (§ 62-8-105) – It is a requirement that the POA is signed by the Principal (or in their presence by another individual directed by them to do so) and is attested “with the same formality and with the same requirements as to witnesses as a will in South Carolina.” That is, it must be signed by at least two (2) witnesses.
- Health Care Power of Attorney / Advance Directive (§ 62-5-504) – The POA must be signed by the Principal, in addition to two (2) persons who act as witnesses to the Principal’s signature, of whom must meet the witness requirements set out by § 62-5-504. The use of a Notary Public is optional.
Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney – If a principal wishes to grant their agent the ability to exercise financial powers on their behalf that would not be constrained by their incapacitation or death, they should enact a Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney.
Download – Adobe PDF
General (Financial) Power of Attorney – An agent to a General POA must attend to the obligations listed in the contract from the date it becomes effective to the date of its termination (if one is specified) or the principal’s incapacitation or death.
Limited (Special) Power of Attorney – The agent who is party to this contract agrees to only represent the principal in the limited circumstances prescribed by it.
Medical Power of Attorney – One of the most commonly used types of POA, a Medical Power of Attorney acts to communicate the end-of-life decisions the principal determined prior to their incapacitation or death.
Download – Adobe PDF
Minor Child Power of Attorney – Once in effect, a Minor Child Power of Attorney sets out the necessary conditions for the party elected by a parent or guardian to can act in loco parentis.
Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form MC-25) – A state-issued legal document, known as Form MC-25 or the Power of Attorney Authorization Form, that allows anyone to appoint an individual or service provider to fulfill specific duties related to their motor vehicle.
Real Estate (Property) Power of Attorney – Compliant with state POA laws, this form is charged with the purpose of enabling any individual who already owns property, or intends to, to select another party to carry out any affairs related to their existing or future property on their behalf.
Revocation of Power of Attorney – Effectively terminates any power of attorney arrangement, regardless of any previously agreed to terms regarding its end date.
State Tax Filing Power of Attorney – Form SC2848 is a document issued by the South Carolina Department of Revenue that legally empowers any individual to declare a representative who will stand in their place for the tax matters they list therein.
Download – Adobe PDF
When is it Effective?
It is a requirement, as per § 62-8-105, that in order for a General / Durable Power of Attorney to be effective, it is signed by the Principal (or in their presence by another individual they direct to do so) and is attested “with the same formality and with the same requirements as to witnesses as a will in South Carolina.”
The law governing witness requirements for wills, § 62-2-502, states that every will must be “signed by at least two individuals each of whom witnessed either the signing or the testator’s acknowledgment of the signature or of the will.” The implication for General / Durable Power of Attorney arrangements is that their validity is in part reliant on at least two (2) individuals witnessing the signing of the Principal’s acknowledgement of the signature or of the Power of Attorney.
A Health Care Power of Attorney / Advance Directive will become effective, according to § 62-5-504, when it is signed by two (2) persons. The persons must fulfill the witness criteria established by § 62-5-504, of which include the requirement that no more than one (1) witness may be an employee at the health facility the Principal is receiving treatment at. Under state law, the use of a Notary Public is optional rather than mandatory when executing this contract, however, it is recommended that the Principal employs one to protect the interests of all parties involved.