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Know when you need a power of attorney

  • Published
  • By Legal Office
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing
Can you guess what the most common piece of paper produced by the legal office is? Is it Articles 15? Legal reviews? No, it's the power of attorney (or "POA" for short).

For a wing of our size, we produced more than 3,300 powers of attorney last year. That means that more than one in every 10 people belonging to the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing needed a POA while being assigned here in 2010. With the impending 2010 tax filing season about to begin, this may become an important issue for you.

What is a POA? In short, it's a piece of paper that authorizes someone to act in your place on almost any matter you can imagine. If you need someone to access your bank account, pay your bills, operate your vehicle or take care of your children, you'll probably need to give them a POA to do so. If you're here, it probably means you have matters like those that are unattended to at home. A POA can allow someone to handle them for you while you're here at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

The key is to examine your life circumstances at the time you deploy and try to figure out what you'll need. Basically, if there's anything you need someone to do on your behalf while you're gone, you'll probably need a POA for it. However, if you forgot to get a POA before you left or have had something come up while you're away, the legal office can help you produce that document. Give us a call at 420-2023 or check the Air Force Legal Assistance website to cover all your POA needs.