A General Power of Attorney Form is used by an individual who would like someone else to have specific or unlimited control to make financial decisions on their behalf until their death or incapacitation. Unlike the durable version, the general does not remain valid if the principal should become in a mental state where they can no longer make rational decisions for themselves (such as being in a coma, Alzheimer’s Disease, vegetative state, etc.).
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What is a General Power of Attorney?
A 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.
A General Power of Attorney is also referred to as the following:
- General POA/General P.O.A.
- General Letter of Attorney
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
- 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 a General Power of Attorney?
Step 1 – Obtaining a General Power of Attorney starts with knowing the “power” you wish to grant your agent (attorney-in-fact). In most cases, an individual realizes that they need a power of attorney in order to give that “power” to another person which makes this step fairly easy as you probably already know which powers you want to give.
Step 2 – 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.
Step 3 – 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 (can’t be family related) or a notary public sign your general power of attorney. Give copies of the document to your agent and those who need to be informed and keep the original in a safe place.
Durable vs General Power of Attorney
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
Step 1 – After downloading, the principal may begin filling-in the document by entering the following:
- In the header, enter the name of the principal.
In the first (1st) paragraph write:
- Name and address of the principal;
- Name and address of the attorney-in-fact.
Step 2 – The principal will now want to print the form (recommended to make at least two (2) copies) and begin initialing the powers they would like their principal to have over the duration of the power of attorney period:
- Make payments and collect receivables;
- To acquire, lease, or sell personal property;
- To acquire, lease, or sell real estate;
- Management powers;
- Banking powers;
- Purchase, sell, or register vehicles;
- State and federal tax filing powers;
- Access to safety-deposit boxes;
- To make gifts;
- Lend or borrow money;
- Enter into contracts/agreements;
- Health care information and access;
- Hire and pay for services;
- Reimburse attorney-in-fact for expenses incurred;
- Power to sue third (3rd) parties;
- Other – Give a detailed description of the powers the attorney-in-fact should possess.
Step 3 – In Section II, enter the State of governing law.
Step 4 – In Section III, enter the effective date and termination by initializing one (1) of the following:
- Becomes effective on the date of the signatures;
- Becomes effective on a future date;
Enter when the form should terminate:
- On a future date;
- When a revocation has been written;
- When and if the principal should become incapacitated.
Step 5 – On the signature areas the Principal should sign the bottom of the page and print their name. They should only do this when in front of either two (2) witnesses (who are not related by blood or marriage) or a notary public.
- On the fifth (5th) and last page the attorney-in-fact should enter their name, sign, and print their name below.
- On the next paragraph, the witnesses should sign their names, print, and enter their addresses below.
- If the principal has decided to have the document witnessed in front of a notary public their information should be entered on the bottom of the last page with their seal.
At this time the document is complete and should be distributed to both all parties involved in the form and it must be shown by the attorney-in-fact whenever powers are to be exercised.