How to Fill Out a General Power of Attorney

By Anna Assad

You must fill out a general power of attorney correctly. If you make mistakes, you might give your agent powers you don't want her to have, omit powers you do want to give her or end up with a useless document. You are the principal, the person giving authority, and your agent is the person you're allowing to act in your place. A general power of attorney allows your agent to act for you in various matters, including bank transactions and property sales. You can get a fill-in general power of attorney form at an office supply store or legal document store in your area. The fill-in form already has all the words your state requires for a valid power of attorney.

Step 1

Write your legal name and address in the space reserved for the principal.

Step 2

Write the agent's legal name and address in the space for the agent or attorney-in-fact.

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Step 3

Check the form's instructions for granting authority. You might have to initial all powers you're giving or only powers you're not giving, depending on the format. A general power of attorney gives your agent broad authority, but you usually can eliminate some powers if you want to do so by putting a line through the powers. Follow the power of attorney's directions for the powers section. Write in any other powers you're giving that are not shown on the form using specific wording.

Step 4

Write in the names and addresses of any secondary agents in the alternate or secondary agent section. This agent only has authority if the first agent can no longer act.

Step 5

Take the power of attorney document and your state identification to a notary public. Sign and date the paper and ask him to notarize your signature. Make copies of the document for yourself and your agents.

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What Should Be in a Power of Attorney?
 

References

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How to Stop a Power of Attorney

You can stop a power of attorney you granted to another person by completing a revocation form, and you must do so as soon as possible to prevent the person from acting on your behalf. A power of attorney allows one person, the agent, to act in place of another person, the principal, in various matters, including bank and real estate transactions.

How to Use a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a written document in which one person, known as the principal, designates another person, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, the authority to act on his behalf. Using a statutory durable power of attorney is no different than using any other kind of POA. The terms "statutory" and "durable" refer to its contents. A statutory POA is a basic form, available from legal supply stores and on the Internet. It conforms to your state’s laws without enumerating the laws in detail. When a statutory POA is durable, it includes language indicating that the agent’s powers remain in effect when and if the principal is no longer mentally competent.

Can a Person Give or Turn Over Her Power of Attorney to Someone Else?

Although a power of attorney involves two persons, it is not a contract and can be unilaterally revoked. The person making the document, termed the principal, uses the power of attorney to name an agent to act for her. A competent principal is free to revoke that authority at any time and confer it on another agent. The person named as agent can also decline to serve but cannot give or transfer her authority under the power of attorney to another.

Power of Attorney

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