What is a General Power of Attorney form?
A General Power of Attorney form is a legal document used by a principal or an individual who wants to appoint someone as his or her attorney-in-fact. When you appoint someone as your attorney-in-fact, you grant them absolute power and authority to fulfill your legal obligations.
In your General Power of Attorney form, you can name anybody as your attorney-in-fact as long as you do so freely and are mentally competent. Here are some examples of the things that your chosen attorney-in-fact can take care of on your behalf:
- Make legal decisions about one’s medical directives
- Handle bank accounts
- Make financial decisions
- Conduct any business and sign any documents
- Sell property and assets
- File taxes
How to fill out a General Power of Attorney form?
For your convenience, PDFRun has a General Power of Attorney form template that you can use. It should be filled out with the following information:
This section includes the personal information of the designated attorney-in-fact and successor attorney.
Enter your full legal name.
Enter the organization you’re affiliated with.
Enter the full legal name of the individual you appoint as your attorney-in-fact.
Enter the full legal name of the individual you appoint as your successor attorney and the organization he or she is affiliated with.
This section includes the power and limitations of the attorney-in-fact.
This section concludes the document. It indicates when it was drafted, the name and signature of two witnesses, and your name and signature.
Enter the day, month, and year of the effective date.
Enter the full legal name of the two witnesses.
Affix the signature of the two witnesses.
Enter the state to determine the laws that will be applied to the document.
Enter the county where the document will take effect.
Enter the day, month, and year when you signed this form.
Enter the full legal name of your attorney.
Enter your full legal name.
Affix your signature.
If you wish to modify the General Power of Attorney form template on PDFRun or write one on your own, here are a few suggestions that might help you in doing so:
- Do research for your state’s requirements.
Before writing and finalizing everything with your general power of attorney, it is important that you already have some knowledge on how to properly execute it. Search for the things you’ll be needing to successfully and legally create this document. Different states require different requirements, so make sure to comply with the necessary documents that your state expects from you.
- Enter accurate and legitimate information.
Since a general power of attorney is admissible in court and is primarily used in legal circumstances, it is important that everything you include in it is truthful and correct to the best of your knowledge.
Make sure that you have entered the full legal name of the principal and the chosen attorney-in-fact. Verify every other single detail that you’ve written in this document to avoid any dispute or conflict in the future.
If there are other specific demands, wishes, or instructions that you want to leave for your attorney-in-fact, you can also put it into writing to ensure that it will be enforceable even without your presence.
After writing the general power of attorney, the principal and witnesses must affix their signatures in order to authenticate it. Because of the sensitivity of this document, it is advised that they be signed in the presence of a notary public or in front of the witnesses.
If you’re having trouble drafting a general power of attorney form, you should consult an attorney to help you in doing so. Having a professional on your side will make your work easier and better. Since they probably already know how this kind of document works, they can assist you with the necessary knowledge you’ll be needing to successfully write this form. You can also ask for their service so they can write the entire form themselves with your guidance.
What are the different types of power of attorney?
There are different types of power of attorney that one may opt to go through, some of these are:
- General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney signifies that the attorney-in-fact has almost complete control and authority to act as the principal. When the principal becomes incompetent, revokes the power of attorney, or passes away, the general power of attorney agreement comes to an end.
- Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is when a principal appoints someone to act on his or her behalf and includes a durable clause that ensures the power of attorney continues even if the principal becomes disabled.
- Special or Limited Power of Attorney
A special or limited power of attorney indicates that the attorney-in-fact has been granted specialized powers only in specific matters or events.
- Springing Durable Power of Attorney
A springing durable power of attorney is only available in some states. It will only take effect once a specific event happens. It is also sometimes called a conditional power of attorney.
Why should I get a power of attorney?
If you’re thinking of drafting and getting a power of attorney, here are some of the reasons why you should go through it:
- You have the discretion and ability to choose who you want to act on your behalf and take care of your legal responsibilities for whatever valid reason it may serve you.
- It gives you the opportunity you speak out your mind about your genuine desires and expectations to your loved ones, especially to the person appointed as agent in the power of attorney.
- You can control the kind of power you’re going to give your attorney-in-fact.
- It's a useful tool if you'll be out of the country and need someone to take care of specific matters for you.
- It will let you prepare for future problems that might arise where a power of attorney may be needed.
- It is good for emergencies and long-term care plans.
- It can serve as a strong piece of evidence in court if needed.
- It will give you peace of mind, knowing that someone you fully trust is the one attending to your legal obligations.