Do I need a Power of Attorney while I am studying abroad? The Study Abroad Office recommends that all students studying abroad select a person to take care of their financial affairs while they are out of the country. This is done by assigning a Power of Attorney. Some instances when a Power of Attorney may be necessary are:
to receive checks made payable to you for educational expenses
to sign and deposit checks made payable to you
to handle issues related to your financial assistance
to access information in your student account and/or financial assistance files
to process banking transactions
to process insurance transactions
to pay bills
What are the steps to assigning a Power of Attorney? Assigning a Power of Attorney is a legal process that involves the drafting of a document which assigns another person to act as your legal representative in specific situations. To arrange a Power of Attorney, complete this form (pdf)and then have your signature notarized. Note: the Power of Attorney document must be signed by you in the presence of a Notary Public.
What is a Notary Public? A Notary Public is a person who has been designated by the government to confirm that a document is legal. Most banks and post offices provide this service. We also provide this service on campus by visiting the Human Resource Office or Scott Korb in the Housing Office.
Who should I ask to be my Power of Attorney? You should select a person you consider trustworthy to make decisions in your best interest and sign on your behalf. Most students select a parent, significant other, or long-term friend. A casual acquaintance is NOT recommended. University staff may NOT act or your behalf. Always ask the individual before appointing them as your Power of Attorney.
For what period of time should I have a Power of Attorney? If you plan to travel prior to and/or after your study abroad experience, the Power of Attorney should include the entire time you plan to be away.
How far in advance should I begin arranging for Power of Attorney? You should take care of arranging your Power of Attorney well in advance of your departure. Give the completed and notarized original document to your Power of Attorney and keep a photocopy for yourself.