A power of attorney (POA) permits one or more persons to act on your behalf as your agent. This important lifetime planning tool may be limited to a particular activity, such as selling your home, or be general in its application.
The power of attorney may give temporary or permanent authority to act on your behalf.
Note that the attorney-in-fact doesn’t need to be a licensed attorney. It should, however, be someone the principal—the person granting the right to act on their behalf—trusts to make decisions on their behalf.
In most states, the principal’s signature on the power of attorney must be notarized to be considered valid.
There are also different types of powers of attorney. They can be “durable,” meaning they are still in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions. Durable powers of attorney typically end with the principal’s death. A general power of attorney that is not durable is no longer valid if the principal becomes incapacitated.