Emergencies are inevitable events, but you can rest easier when you know that someone whom you trust and who knows you well can step in to legally represent you and take care of your affairs for you when you become mentally incompetent, permanently unconscious, out of the country, or for whatever reason. This is what Power of Attorney Forms are for. They allow you to appoint someone else to act as your proxy when these emergencies happen. There are various types of Power of Attorney forms depending on their use, limitation, and effectivity. In this article, we will focus on the General Power of Attorney Form.

Free General Power of Attorney Form

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General Power of Attorney Form in PDF

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Durable General Power of Attorney Form

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Blank General Power of Attorney Form

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What Is a General Power of Attorney?

A General Power of Attorney allows someone, known as the principal, to appoint someone else, known as the agent, to legally represent him and perform the tasks he usually does. The scope of a General Power of Attorney is broad, as opposed to a Limited Power of Attorney which limits the agent to only specified tasks stated on the form. The agent can also make financial decisions on your behalf. Because of this, a General Power of Attorney has to be used with caution.

Types of General Power of Attorney Forms

  • Durable Power of Attorney Forms: This is a Power of Attorney that can still take effect even after the person becomes incapacitated, but you can choose whether you want it to take effect upon signing the form or only during the time when you become mentally incompetent to make decisions for yourself.
  • Military General Power of Attorney Forms: This is used by people in the military to appoint someone else, usually their spouse, close friend or relatives, to take care of their legal and financial matters when they are out of the country for training purposes, stationed at a base away from their home, or when they are deployed overseas.

Military General Power of Attorney Form

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Editable General Power of Attorney Form

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Printable General Power of Attorney Form

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General Power of Attorney Form Example

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When Can a General Power of Attorney End?

A General Power of Attorney can end in one of three ways: at the time of death of the principal, at the specified time stated in the form, or by revoking the form by sending written notice to the agents. If the General Power of Attorney is not durable, it will expire at the time the principal becomes mentally incapacitated.

Steps to Making a General Power of Attorney

  • Choose potential agents. Consider the person’s age, location, health, and personal beliefs when choosing an agent. You may choose more than one agent in case the first option would be unavailable.
  • Meet with chosen agents to affirm their cooperation and to discuss your wishes with them.
  • Fill out a form. Name the principal, the agents, and what powers would be granted.
  • Consult with your lawyer to review the form.
  • Sign the form, and have your witnesses and notary sign it as well.
  • Keep a copy of the form, and distribute copies to your agents and lawyer.

Because of the broadness of the scope of a General Power of Attorney, it would be best to put a lot of thought into who your agent/s should be. Choose someone you can really trust to handle your affairs for you. You may also just use a Special Power of Attorney Form if you want your agent to just carry out a specific task for a specific period of time.

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