How to Fill Out a General Power of Attorney

How to Fill Out a General Power of Attorney
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You must fill out a general power of attorney correctly. If you make mistakes, you might give your agent powers you don't want her to have, omit powers you do want to give her or end up with a useless document. You are the principal, the person giving authority, and your agent is the person you're allowing to act in your place. A general power of attorney allows your agent to act for you in various matters, including bank transactions and property sales. You can get a fill-in general power of attorney form at an office supply store or legal document store in your area. The fill-in form already has all the words your state requires for a valid power of attorney.

Write your legal name and address in the space reserved for the principal.

Write the agent's legal name and address in the space for the agent or attorney-in-fact.

Check the form's instructions for granting authority. You might have to initial all powers you're giving or only powers you're not giving, depending on the format. A general power of attorney gives your agent broad authority, but you usually can eliminate some powers if you want to do so by putting a line through the powers. Follow the power of attorney's directions for the powers section. Write in any other powers you're giving that are not shown on the form using specific wording.

Write in the names and addresses of any secondary agents in the alternate or secondary agent section. This agent only has authority if the first agent can no longer act.

Take the power of attorney document and your state identification to a notary public. Sign and date the paper and ask him to notarize your signature. Make copies of the document for yourself and your agents.


  • A power of attorney that isn't notarized is typically not valid.