Power of Attorney in Indiana: Guide and Requirements

Indiana allows different kinds of powers of attorney.
Roberta Pescow
By Roberta Pescow 
Published
Edited by Tina Orem

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A power of attorney, or POA, in Indiana is a legal document that allows you (“the principal”) to appoint another person (an “agent” or “attorney in fact”) to act on your behalf. A power of attorney in Indiana must meet several requirements to be valid.

In Indiana, you can get a power of attorney for situations related to health care, finances, minor children or other situations.

Indiana power of attorney requirements

A power of attorney in Indiana must meet all of these requirements to be valid

:

  • The principal must be a mentally competent adult.

  • The agent must be a mentally competent adult. You can name co-agents (this can be a good way to designate a successor agent in case the first agent becomes unavailable). 

  • The POA typically must be in writing and notarized — or signed with two witnesses present. (For a medical POA, only one witness is legally required, and a minor child POA has no legal requirement but notarization is recommended.) Using a notary can be a good idea even if you have witnesses; it improves your chances that third parties will accept the power of attorney.

  • Your witnesses can’t be your agent, successor agent, or anyone who benefits or is granted power from your POA; they also can’t be spouses or descendants of any of these disqualified people.

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Types of Indiana powers of attorney

There are three major types of Indiana power of attorney:

  1. Financial POA: This document gives your agent authority to handle business and financial matters for you, such as paying your bills or buying and selling property for you.

  2. Medical POA: This document allows your agent to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable, including deciding the treatments or medication you receive and which providers treat you.

  3. Power of attorney over a minor child: This POA lets you choose someone to temporarily care for a minor child for up to 12 months. Some reasons for this type of POA include a parent being ill, deployed in military service or in the process of moving.

Additionally, Indiana recognizes these subcategories of powers of attorney:

  • General power of attorney: This grants your agent broad authority over your business and financial affairs, and it remains in effect only as long as you’re able to make your own decisions.

  • Durable power of attorney: This means the power of attorney remains valid even if you lose the ability to make your own decisions.

  • Springing power of attorney: This type of POA only activates under certain specified conditions, such as a minor coming of age or the principal becoming incapacitated.

  • Limited power of attorney: This type of POA only gives your agent authority over a specific transaction or event for a limited period of time.

  • Real estate power of attorney: This type of limited POA allows your agent to purchase, sell, manage or refinance property on your behalf.

  • Tax power of attorney: This type of limited POA lets someone else file your taxes, access your tax information and communicate on your behalf with the Indiana Department of Revenue

    Indiana Department of Revenue. Power of Attorney Procedures and Form. Accessed Apr 24, 2023.
    .

  • Vehicle power of attorney: This type of limited POA lets your agent represent you in titling and registration matters with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

How to get a power of attorney in Indiana

Here’s what you need to do to create a valid power of attorney in Indiana:

  1. Decide which type of POA you need and get the proper form from online estate planning software, an estate planning attorney or directly from the state.

  2. Select your agent(s).

  3. Include in your POA document any specific powers you’d like your agent to have.

  4. Sign your POA in the presence of required witnesses and/or notary public.

  5. Store your original document in a safe place.

  6. Give a copy of your POA to your agent and to any financial institutions or medical providers your agent will be dealing with.

  7. If your agent has the authority to complete real estate transactions for you, file a copy of your POA with the land records office, which in Indiana is called the recorder’s office.

  8. Review and update your POA as needed.

What are the power of attorney requirements in my state?

See the requirements for creating a valid power of attorney in these states:

Frequently asked questions

If you plan to have someone file your taxes for you or represent you with the Indiana Department of Revenue, you’ll need to create a tax power of attorney (Form POA-1). You give the POA to the Indiana Department of Revenue by mail, fax or electronically.

Unless you’ve created a springing power of attorney that takes effect on a certain date or when specific conditions are met, your POA becomes effective as soon as it’s signed, witnessed and (if necessary) notarized.

The power of attorney may end when one or more of these things happens:

  • You die.

  • You revoke the POA.

  • No agent is available.

  • A court invalidates the power of attorney.

  • Five years have elapsed (for tax powers of attorney).

Additionally:

  • Limited POAs end when the specified date arrives or the specified conditions are met.

  • Nondurable POAs end if the principal becomes incapacitated. In Indiana, all POAs are durable by default unless otherwise stated in the document.

Indiana allows your agent to do a broad range of things for you, such as:

  • Banking and other financial transactions.

  • Managing bonds, stocks and other securities transactions.

  • Handling your business or organization.

  • Performing real estate transactions.

  • Administering retirement plan transactions.

  • Overseeing tax matters.

  • Receiving government benefits.

  • Making medical decisions on your behalf.

Under Indiana law, your agent is obligated to act in your best interests and to record all actions taken on your behalf for six years. As the principal, you’re entitled to request a written accounting of your agent’s actions, which the agent must give you (or any of your children who request it) within 60 days. If this accounting reveals improper actions, your agent is liable for all damages and related legal fees. If you’re unhappy with your agent for any reason, you’re always free to revoke or revise your POA to designate a new agent.

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