If you're caring for an aging or ailing spouse, parent or close friend, it's important to discuss power of attorney with them before it's too late. Obtaining power of attorney is a cautious measure that's taken to avoid complications in the worst case scenario. Read the steps listed below and learn about how you can get power of attorney.

  1. Determine what type of power of attorney you will need to get. General Power of Attorney allows you to act on behalf of the individual in a wide variety of areas while Special Power of Attorney is designated for a specific situation, such as taxes, patents or health.
  2. Contact a local lawyer or your city hall to inquire about what you need to obtain power of attorney. Every state has a different procedure and will require different applications to be signed by you and your loved one. If your loved one is incapacitated and cannot sign the required forms, you may be required to obtain a doctor's affidavit that states the current condition. You can discuss this with your lawyer or a city hall representative.
  3. Get the necessary forms. Application forms for a wide variety of powers of attorney can be found online on government Web sites [source: USPTO]. Make sure you print the correct form for your needs. Many institutions, such as banks and mortgage brokers, are not easily accepting of power of attorney forms. If you're seeking to obtain a real estate power of attorney, contact your loved one's mortgage broker to find out what forms are required to relinquish power of attorney to you [source: Angione].
  4. Review the signed forms with your lawyer. Not only will the lawyer be able to edit the legal language to suit your case, but you will also be able to get the documents notarized so that no person or institution can challenge the signature.