A General POA gives an Agent broad power to act on your behalf, taking any action or making any decision that would normally fall to you. Here is a list of some of the general powers you can grant to your Agent:
- Sell real property or tangible personal property.
- Buy and sell stocks and bonds.
- Handle all banking.
- Operate a business.
- Buy insurance and annuities.
- Manage estates, trusts, and other beneficiary interests.
- Handle all claims and litigation.
- Manage all personal and family affairs.
- Prepare and file taxes.
A simple POA will identify the following basic elements:
- Agent(s): a responsible and trustworthy person acting on your behalf.
- Principal: person assisted with personal, business, or legal matters.
- Grant of Authority: general or specific authority to take certain actions.
- Effective Date: when the the form effectively begins, usually immediately.
- Signatures: the Principal and a Notary must sign the document.
A Power of Attorney is also not like a bilateral agreement, it is more of a unilateral description of what authority is permitted by the principal.
The principal will also be able to choose how they would like the Power of Attorney to go into effect - for example, if they would like it to start at a specific date and last through incapacity, if they would it only like to begin if they are incapacitated, or if they would like to have it start at a specific date but end in case they are incapacitated.