A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that lets you appoint someone to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf. The person authorizing the other to act on their behalf is referred to as the principal, grantor, or donor. The person authorized to act is the agent or attorney-in-fact. With a power of attorney, the person you appoint will be legally permitted to take care of important matters for you, including paying your bills and managing your investments, if you are unable to do so for yourself. A durable power of attorney (DPOA) serves the same function as a power of attorney, however, a durable power of attorney is effective even if you become incapacitated.
On a Power of Attorney form, the person granting authority to another is the "Principal". The person who is granted authority is called the "Attorney-in-fact" or "Agent".
Your appointed agent does not have to be a lawyer, and their power is defined entirely by you. A Power of Attorney form can be general, granting broad authority over all of your medical and financial affairs, or it may be limited, giving your agent a defined set of responsibilities only in certain situations.
When you need a little help making big medical or financial decisions, a Power of Attorney form (also known as a POA form) allows you to give permission to another person or entity (your agent) to act on your behalf.
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