Power of Attorney (POA)

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that provides another person (often a relative or a friend) the authority to make decisions and act on your behalf. The person you identify is called an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” In the POA you are called the “principal.”  

The POA does not strip you of your own power or authority to act on your on behalf. Instead, it just means that another person can also act for you. For example, you may want to create a POA to handle just your health care matters, or real estate and financial matters as well. Alternatively, you can create a general POA to handle all your matters. Although you can revoke, change, or terminate the POA, you should be careful to identify an agent you trust whenever you sign a POA. You may want to consult an attorney before creating a POA.