A general power of attorney gives broad powers to a person or organization, known as an agent or attorney in fact, to act on your behalf. What powers?
These things make a general power of attorney an effective tool, especially if you'll be out of the country and need someone to handle certain matters, and obviously if you're physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs. Powers of attorney are generally included in estate plans to make sure someone is handling financial matters.
But wait — there are special powers of attorney:
And what of the agent you choose to have your best interests in mind? Your agent should:
You must sign and notarize your original power of attorney document and certify several copies. Banks and other businesses will not allow your agent to act on your behalf unless they receive a certified copy of the power of attorney. You may revoke a power of attorney at any time — notify your agent in writing and retrieve all copies, letting everyone know that your agent's power of attorney has been revoked.
It may be wise to consult a professional for advice about the powers being granted, to provide counsel on your candidate agent and to make sure your document meets all legal requirements.
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