Power of Attorney FAQs

Power of Attorney Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Power of Attorney while I am studying abroad?

The UCSB EAP 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:
  1. to receive checks made payable to you for educational expenses
  2. to sign and deposit checks made payable to you
  3. to handle issues related to your financial aid
  4. to access information in your student account/financial aid files
  5. to process banking transactions
  6. to process insurance questions
  7. to pay bills
  8. to sign a lease on an apartment for the quarter after you return

What are the steps to assigning a Power of Attorney?

Assigning Power of Attorney is a legal process that involves a document which assigns another person to act as your legal representative in specific situations. While you may meet with an attorney to draft a document, it is simpler to sign a pre-drafted form. To arrange a Power of Attorney without a lawyer, simply fill out the Power of Attorney form, and then have your signature notarized.
**Note: the Power of Attorney document must be signed by you in the presence of a Notary Public.

Please submit two photocopies of the form to the UCSB EAP office. Whoever you designated as Power of Attorney should keep the original.

What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public is a person who has been designated by the government to confirm the identity of a person signing a document or to confirm that a document is legal. Most banks and post offices provide this service. The EAP office provides a list of nearby Notaries Public.

Who should I ask to be my Power of Attorney?

You should select a person you consider trustworthy to make decisions in your best interests and sign on your behalf. Most students select a parent, significant other, or long-term friend. A casual acquaintance is NOT recommended. University staff, including the UCSB EAP Office, may not act on 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 (two to three months ahead of time should be sufficient). It is not possible to designate a Power of Attorney once you have left the United States. Give the completed and notarized original document to your Power of Attorney, keep a copy for yourself, and bring two copies to our office (one for us to have on hand for emergencies and one for Financial Aid to have for their records).