Power of Attorney
The power of attorney is one of the strongest legal documents that an individual can give to another person. Accordingly, you must be making it of your own free will. It authorizes your agent to act on your behalf and carry on business in your absence. PLEASE NOTE that a person or business does not have to accept or acknowledge your power of attorney; it is totally within their discretion. There are two types of power of attorney:
A. General Power of Attorney - authorizes your agent to do any number of acts relating to your property and personal affairs. Because this document grants broad, virtually unlimited authority to your agent, it should be given to a person your trust implicitly. Normally, a general power of attorney for selling or purchasing real property is not accepted. Use a special power of attorney in this instance.
B. Special Power of Attorney - authorized your agent to do one or more certain specified acts, such as selling your car, shipping household goods, or cashing a paycheck.
You should grant no greater power than is absolutely necessary. In addition, your agent should be someone in whom you have absolute trust and confidence.
You will formally execute one original of your power of attorney. You should give the original to your agent and keep a copy for yourself. Photocopies of your power of attorney are generally unacceptable because they do not contain original signatures or the notarial seal.
You should not make a power of attorney last any longer than is necessary. Office policy is that powers of attorney are limited to a maximum of a year. Your power of attorney will automatically terminate upon the death of either you or your agent. Otherwise, it will terminate on the date that you specified in the document. Should you revoke your power of attorney prior to its stated termination date, you should seek the assistance of the legal assistance office or of a civilian attorney in order to do so.