General (Financial) Power of Attorney Form

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A general power of attorney allows a person (“principal”) to give someone else (“agent”) broad or specific powers over their financial matters. It is non-durable which means that it cancels if the principal is no longer mentally competent.

Singing Laws – Even though a general poa is non-durable, the principal is required to follow the durable poa signing requirements.

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Table of Contents

What is a General Power of Attorney?

General Power of Attorney is the act of allowing another individual, known as the Agent, to make decisions on your behalf based on the powers that you allow them to control. With our general power of attorney form, you can customize and give any type of power for your agent to act on your behalf. Because this form can give basically any power imaginable, it’s highly effective and popular amongst those who wish to obtain a power of attorney.

Common Powers

Here is a list of powers that this form allows you, the Principal, to give to your agent by simply initialing next to the power listed in your general power of attorney form:

  • Power to Make Payments or Collect
  • Management Powers
  • Power to Aquire, Lease, or Sell Property
  • Banking Powers
  • Power to Aquire, Lease, or Sell Real Property
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Gift Making Powers
  • Tax Powers
  • Lending and Borrowing
  • Contracts
  • Power to Hire and Pay for Services
  • Health Care
  • Reimbursement of Attorney-in-Fact
  • Power to Sue Third Parties
  • Safe Deposit Boxes
  • Other *You can customize your own power.

How to Get General Power of Attorney

Step 1 – Powers

Obtaining a General Power of Attorney starts with knowing the “power” you wish to grant your agent (attorney-in-fact). Because this is a “General” power of attorney, the principal needs to carefully read through general power of attorney form and initialize in the blank underline to the left of the paragraph explaining the power. There are 16 powers to choose from; if you do not see the power you need, initialize next to “Other” and manually describe the power you wish to give to the agent.

Step 2 – Select Agent (s)

Finding your Agent is the next step which is the person who will act on the powers that you give. This person should be well trusted, coherent, and very reliable. Depending on the powers that you give, this person has the potential to cause great damage to your life if they don’t carry out the powers correctly. For extra precaution, it’s also possible to list two agents on your power of attorney. The added benefit to having two agents; if one dies or is unavailable when needed, the other can act on your behalf.

Step 3 – Execute

Now that you have both the powers you want to give and the agent who will execute them for you, you can proceed to fill out your general power of attorney form. When finished, it’s mandatory that both the Agent and Principal sign the document while also having 2 witnesses. Note: Witnesses can’t be family related. A notary public’s signature is also recommended. Give copies of the document to your agent and those who need to be informed and keep the original in a safe place.

Durable POA vs General POA

There is only one difference that separates a Durable from a General power of attorney. When a Power of Attorney is “Durable“, it means that the powers granted to the Agent are ongoing or valid if and when the Principal becomes incapacitated or dies. A “General” power of attorney becomes void if and when the Principal either becomes incapacitated, dies, or if there is a date or event listed in the power of attorney that says so otherwise.

How to Write a General Power of Attorney

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Open Document Text (.odt)

1 – You Can Designate Your Authority To An Agent With This Paperwork

The appointment template to delegate general principal powers so an Agent can represent you adequately can be found using the PDF, Word, or ODT buttons captioning the preview image. If preferred, you can also download this document in these formats using the links above.

2 – Prepare The Title And Introduction With Information

When you are ready to attend to this paperwork open it with your editing program or print it so you may fill it out manually. The declaration made by this paperwork will use some specific language that will need to be supplemented with facts describing the current goal. The first such area, just below the title, is reserved for the Principal. If you are, the Principal then place your full name (as it appears on your official paperwork) on the empty line below the title. Record your name again, on the first blank space in the first paragraph. This paragraph is a required statement, so make sure to fulfill the following requests for information accurately. You must also present your complete address in this statement. Produce your street address, city, and state of residence across the next three blank lines. Now, this statement will require the Attorney-in-Fact’s information to be completed. The Attorney-in-Fact is the entity that will act as the Principal Agent. He or she will be charged with representing the Principal in the manner this paperwork defines. Record the Attorney-in-Fact or Agent name on the space labeled “Attorney-in-Fact’s Name.” The Attorney-in-Fact’s complete address must be included to solidify his or her identity. The last three blank spaces in this statement should be used to report the street address, city, and state where he or she resides. Note: It is strongly recommended you use the address reported on his or her identification (i.e. driver’s license).

3 – Review, Determine, Then Approve The Principal Authority You Wish Designated

The next area will deal with the rights you are granting the Attorney-in-Fact by appointing him or her with the principal power you hold over one or more subject matters of your choosing. Such matters are categorized and described by the list included in “I. Powers.” If you would like the Attorney-in-Fact to have the authority to represent you in a way described by one of the list items, then place your initials on the blank space that precedes it. When this paperwork is completed and signed it will define the principal powers given to the Attorney-in-Fact using only the items on this list that bear the Principal’s initials. The first topic of authority will name actions an Attorney-in-Fact will require principal approval to undertake when he or she is expected to handle the receiving or satisfying principal payments. Read through this description, if you intend to allow your Agent to carry out the decisions and actions defined here, initial the blank space before the bold words “Power To Make Payments Or Collect Monies Owed.”  The Attorney-in-Fact can be granted the “Power To Acquire, Lease And Sell…” your personal property with the same authority you hold over such items. This type of authority will include the ability to make credit arrangements on your behalf. Make sure to read through this description then, initial the blank space that precedes it if you wish to appoint your Attorney-in-Fact with these principal powers. The Attorney-in-Fact’s “Power To Acquire, Lease And Sell Real Property” in the Principal’s name will only be considered valid if you, the Principal, approve of such actions being taken in your name. If so, initial the blank space attached to the third item. You can deliver the “Management Powers” at your disposal to the Attorney-in-Fact by initialing the third description. This statement will give the Attorney-in-Fact the ability to engage in maintaining, repairing, managing, insuring, renting leasing, and a host of other actions required to maintain your real or personal property. This will apply to both tangible property and intangible property. The “Banking Powers” you possess and use to open your accounts, close your accounts, manage checks, release deeds of trust and other financial intuition actions can also be wielded by the Attorney-in-Fact when you initial the fifth power statement. The principal power required to handle titles of “Motor Vehicles” can be granted to the Attorney-in-Fact if you initial the blank space attached to the bold label “Motor Vehicles.”  Now the next item, “Tax Powers,” will allow you to give your Attorney-in-Fact your approval when handling your taxes. This can be a wide swath of power however, your local tax entity (such as the I.R.S.) will likely have forms that need to be submitted if you need your Attorney-in-Fact to also represent you before them and/or submit filings on your behalf. Initial this item if you wish to deliver the powers defined in this statement. If you intend for such powers to be granted, it is recommended you follow up by contacting the tax institution your Attorney-in-Fact will work with. You can give your Attorney-in-Fact the right to access your “Safe-Deposit Boxes,” start new ones, close them out, or control their contents by initialing the eighth item. Initial the ninth statement if you would like your Attorney-in-Fact to wield “Gift Making Powers” on your behalf. This will allow your Agent to not only give property in your name but also forgive debts. Read through this statement, if your intention is to approve these actions for your Attorney-in-Fact then initial the blank space attached to this statement. The “Lending And Borrowing” powers you possess can be used by the Attorney-in-Fact in your name when you initial the tenth statement. The ability and right to start, terminate, or negotiate “Contracts” in your name can be appointed to the Attorney-in-Fact if you initial the “Contracts item. If you do not initial this item, then the Attorney-in-Fact will not be able to engage in any such actions with any contracts on your behalf. If you would like your Attorney-in-Fact to manage your admissions and discharges to medical facilities as well as access your medical records and decide when they should be released, then initial the “Health Care” power statement. The statement labeled “HIPAA” will name your Attorney-in-Fact with the same representational powers and responsibilities as those discussed in the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act of 1996. If you require your Attorney-in-Fact to possess the “Power To Hire And Pay For Services” on your behalf and using your name, then initial the fourteenth statement. The fifteenth statement, “Reimbursement Of Attorney-in-Fact,” enables you to quickly approve the Attorney-in-Fact’s decision to reimburse himself or herself for reasonable expenses. You can approve the Attorney-in-Fact’s “Power To Sue Third Parties Who Fail To Act Pursuant…” to this paperwork by initialing the sixteenth item on this list. Such powers will enable your Attorney-in-Fact to seek legal action when enforcing this document’s declaration is deemed necessary to carry out your instructions or fulfill the responsibilities set forth here. The last item on this checklist, “Other,” contains a blank line after the words “Power To Conduct The Following.” If there are any other appointments of power that must be granted to the Attorney-in-Fact then, describe this on this empty line. Once this description is complete, initial the space before the word “Other.” If you need more room to deliver a full report, then you may attach additional paperwork containing the additional appointments of authority so long as you refer to it by name in this area.

4 – Provide The Location And Time Of This Document’s Effect

The next section, under the heading “II. Interpretation And Governing Law,” will both present and require information. Read this statement through, it will define how the state where this document is being executed will rule over this appointment. Name the state where this paperwork will be enforced and treated by the local jurisdiction on the blank line supplied in this paragraph. You will also need to define when this document is in effect as well as where. In “III. Effective Date And Termination” you will be presented with five statements. You must initial two of these to define when the Attorney-in-Fact may use your authority to represent you. First, we will define when the Attorney-in-Fact should possess principal power. If the principal powers here become accessible to the Attorney-in-Fact as soon as you sign this appointment, then initial the first statement If your authority should only become useable by the Attorney-in-Fact upon a specific calendar date, then initial the second statement and declare the calendar date of effect using the last two blank spaces in this choice. The next three statements seek a definition of when or how the Attorney-in-Fact’s principal powers should terminate. If you intend for these powers to terminate on a specific calendar date, then initial the statement beginning with the phrase “The Following Dat…” then produce the termination date in the area provided. If you intend to only terminate these powers by issuing a written revocation (at your discretion) then, initial the statement “When I have Made A Written Revocation.” One last option to define how these powers terminate has been presented. Should you want the Attorney-in-Fact’s ability to wield principal power to automatically terminate the moment a physician has diagnosed you (in writing) suffering a condition that has rendered you incapacitated, unable to communicate, or both then initial the last statement.

5 – You Must Verify Your Intent To Deliver This Authority To The Agent

We have identified the Attorney-in-Fact, what he or she can do with the principal authority you are granting, where such authority is governed, and when he or she can act in your name with your approval it will be time to solidify your approval to this document. Locate the section “IV. Third Party Reliance.” Produce the date you are signing this document to the blank spaces in the final statement here. Sign and print your name on the blank line labeled “Principal Signature” and “Print Name” (respectively). Make sure to perform this act before two witnesses and a presiding notary republic. The section “Acceptance Of Appointment” must be prepared with the name of the Attorney-in-Fact on the blank space in the acknowledgment statement. The Attorney-in-Fact must acknowledge this statement and verify his or her intent to abide by it by signing and printing his or her name on the “Attorney-in-Fact” and “Print Name” lines. The two Witnesses that have watched the Attorney-in-Fact and you sign this document must provide testimony to this observation. The paragraph beginning with the statement “We, The Witnesses, Each Do Hereby Declare…” such a declaration is already provided. Each Witness should read this statement then sign his or her name, print his or her name and report his or her address to the blank spaces labeled “Witness Signature,” “Print Name,” and “Address.” The last party to attend this document is the notary public. This entity will produce several facts to the “Acknowledgement Of Notary Public” area. Additionally, he or she will sign his or her name then provide the necessary credentials for the notarization process.