General Power of Attorney Form

The general power of attorney is a document that provides the principal the possibility of empowering a desired person with the right to make commercial decisions on their behalf. Since it is a form with a limited range of validity, the principal can set a limitation date. Additionally, non-durable forms finish their action after the principal’s incapacitation or mental disability occurs.

The principal — the individual who desires to set up the POA.

The agent (attorney-in-fact, proxy) — the individual to whom the right to make a decision goes because of the principal’s desire.

Reasons for Authorizing a General Power of Attorney

The general power of attorney is a document that lets the principal grant the power of financial matters on their behalf. One may need such an opportunity in case of long-lasting absence in the place where deals are held.

Some possible financial rights may involve:

  • insurance matters

  • real property

  • stocks and obligations

  • pension plans

  • business matters

  • personal or family matters

  • state awards and donations

  • taxes

  • gift-making

  • shared ownership

So, the principal can choose any commercial field not restricted by the state’s law and hand decision-making power in those fields to the chosen agent. As such, some states of the US permit to include the ability to buy or sell the property in POAs.

How to Create and Use a General Power of Attorney

Let’s look at the stages one has to undergo to complete the General Power of Attorney form.

1. Choosing the Trustworthy Agent

A frequent option used in the financial field is choosing a business partner as an agent for general POA. It may be any adult person who the principal can rely on, even a field professional (for instance, your advocate), as this person will be empowered to represent one’s will in making some specified decisions.

The principal can also appoint an alternate agent who will represent the prior in case of the first agent’s absence or inability.

However, the principal should remember to ask the preferred individual(s) if they would like to perform as the agent and will be able to act on one’s behalf in the essential time interval.

2. Specifying the Rights

If the principal decides to endow someone with the ability to represent the commercial interest, it is essential to specify in which exact situations the agent will be able to act on their behalf. In the form, there is a section where one can list the endowed powers. However, one should always verify if the state legislation permits the transfer of a particular power.

3. Filling Out the Form

The principal and the agent should complete the filling process together to prevent possible misunderstandings. The ambiguous moments must be cleared with legal counsel.

4. Signing the Form

The power of attorney forms have to be signed by the principal and agent(s) and verified by the notary or two witnesses. The requirements may differ from state to state, so be guided by the legislation of the place of signing.

The comprehensive instruction on how to fill the general POA and a sample form is provided below. But first, let us clarify a few frequently asked questions.

Does a General POA Include Healthcare Decisions?

The general power of attorney covers only financial matters, so it does not include making decisions for the principal’s health care. However, in the list of powers, the principal can specify payments for medical matters (check the details in the local legislation). Create a medical power of attorney if you want to appoint someone who will handle your health care.

Are There any Registration Requirements for a General POA?

Most often, there is no need to register the general power of attorney. However, it is advised to register the form in cases of real estate transactions. If that’s the case, the principal has to copy the form and bring it to the local county registry of deeds.

How to Fill Out a General Power of Attorney Document

  1. The first section of the form requires filling in the principal and the agent’s contact information (name, address, city, and state of living).

  2. The next part of the form lists the possible powers to assign to the agent. The principal should leave their initials near the powers they would like to choose as transferred. If the power is not preferable, the field must be left empty. If the list does not include the desired power, one must mark the option “Other” and write the detailed description of the rights given in three lines.

  3. Next, specify the state of the POA operation. In the provided line, name the city where the given power(s) will be applied.

  4. The ongoing section requires setting the period within which the form will have an effect. In this time range, the agent will be able to represent the principal’s will. To define the beginning date, the principal has to choose and leave their initials near one of the options provided–the first one to establish the acting effect instantly, and the second one to specify the particular date.

For the revocation date, the principal can choose up to three options. The first one allows you to define the exact day of termination. The second option is the most likely choice and provides the right to end the general POA by completing the POA revocation form. The last option leaves the right to finish the form if the principal becomes incapacitated (the principal’s primary physician must provide the confirmation document). However, since the general POA is a non-durable form, it will stop its effect even if the last option is not chosen, but the principal becomes incapacitated.

  1. The principal’s signature must be left at the same time as the date of signing and printed name. However, one must always follow the signing restrictions of the state where the form is planned to be used for the document to be legitimized. The principal’s signature must be left in the presence of the witness or notary (per the local legislation).

  2. The agent, in turn, has to officially accept the form by leaving their printed name and signature. These actions do not have to be notarized or witnessed. By leaving the signature, the agent accepts the responsibility and given rights listed in the form.

  3. The last sections are intended for a witness or notary verification. If required, the witness(es) should leave their printed name, signature, and address for mailing. Note that the witness must be an adult person who is not an agent or a notary.

If notarization is required, the last section is filled by the notaries.