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General Power of Attorney

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,... Read more

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Making a General Power of Attorney

  • What is a General Power of Attorney?

    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.

  • Where can I get Power of Attorney forms?

    It's very simple to grant or obtain the support you may need with a free General Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make the PoA - Provide a few details and we will do the rest
    2. Send or share it - Review it with your agent(s) or ask a legal question
    3. Sign and make it legal - Optional or not, notarization and witnesses are ideal

    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.

  • Who should have a General PoA?

    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:

    • You wish to give a trusted person broad permission to take legal actions on your behalf in the event that you are not present or become legally incompetent
    • You have plans to move out of your home and into a care facility
    • You are aging or dealing with limited mobility or ongoing health issues
    • You intend to live or travel overseas either temporarily or permanently

    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.

  • Which type of Power of Attorney do I need to get?

    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:

    • Special Power of Attorney - Grants limited powers over specified matters
    • General Power of Attorney - Grants a broad scope of authority over your affairs
    • Springing Power of Attorney - Comes into effect based on certain events or criteria
    • Durable Power of Attorney - Remains valid even when you become mentally incompetent or otherwise incapacitated

    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.

  • Do I need to work with an attorney to review my PoA?

    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.

  • What would I typically have to pay to get a Power of Attorney form?

    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.

  • What should I do after I write a General Power of 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.

  • Does a General Power of Attorney need to be notarized, witnessed, or recorded?

    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.

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