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General Power of Attorney FAQs
A General Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that gives a trusted individual or organization permission to manage legal and financial matters for you, such as buying or selling real estate, signing contracts, and accessing bank accounts.
The person granting control is known as the "principal," while the individual or entity gaining powers is known as the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact." Designed to follow state laws, our Power of Attorney is customizable for use anywhere in the United States. All General Power of Attorney forms from Rocket Lawyer can be edited to address your specific situation. This essential legal document provides confirmation to financial institutions and other parties that your selected representative can act in your interest.
It's very simple to grant or obtain the support you may need with a free General Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:
This route is often going to be notably more affordable than finding and hiring a traditional lawyer. If necessary, you can start this PoA on behalf of your spouse, an elderly parent, or another family member, and then have them sign it after you've drafted it. Please keep in mind that for a Power of Attorney to be accepted as valid, the principal must be a mentally competent adult when they sign. If the principal is already unable to make their own decisions, a court-appointed conservatorship may be necessary. In this situation, it's a good idea to work with a lawyer.
Every person over 18 ought to have a Power of Attorney. Although it can be challenging to think about, there may come a day when you are no longer able to make your own legal decisions. There may also be moments when you're simply out of pocket. Here are some typical occasions where you may find PoA forms to be helpful:
Regardless of whether your General Power of Attorney has been prepared as part of a forward-looking plan or created in response to an urgent issue, witnesses and/or notarization are strongly recommended as a best practice for protecting your document if its validity is doubted by a third party.
There are a few ways to categorize Power of Attorney documents. They are largely based on when the powers will come into effect, how long they will be in effect, and what they provide authority over. Frequently, you will see them separated into these four segments:
When creating your free General Power of Attorney with Rocket Lawyer, you can choose to have the authority start on a selected day, upon signing, or only at the point when you're not capable. Your Power of Attorney can terminate either when you pass away or on a specific date.
General PoA forms are typically easy to make, but you or your agent(s) could still have legal questions. Hiring a legal professional to comment on your Power of Attorney may take a lot of time if you do it by yourself. An alternate approach could be to request help from the On Call attorney network. Rocket Lawyer members have the ability to ask for advice from an experienced attorney or ask other legal questions. As always, you can be confident that Rocket Lawyer is by your side.
The fees associated with finding and hiring a legal provider to create a Power of Attorney might total anywhere between two hundred and five hundred dollars. When using Rocket Lawyer, you aren't just filling out a Power of Attorney template. In case you ever require support from a lawyer, your Rocket Lawyer membership provides up to a 40% discount when you hire an attorney.
Alongside each Power of Attorney form, there will be a set of directions that you'll need to follow to finalize your document. With a Rocket Lawyer membership, you can make edits, save it as a Word document or PDF file, and/or sign it. Finally, you should be sure to provide a final copy of your fully signed document to your agent(s) and financial institutions.
The specific guidelines and restrictions for PoA forms vary in each state; however, it is highly encouraged to have your Power of Attorney signed by at least one witness and/or acknowledged by a notary public to emphasize its validity. If your agent(s) will have the authority to manage real estate transactions, the Power of Attorney will need to be signed by a notary public and filed or recorded with your county. Finally, as a general principle, witnesses should be over 18 years old, and no witness should simultaneously be named as your agent.