General Power of Attorney

Definition - What does General Power of Attorney mean?

A general power of attorney is a document a person can sign that gives another person the power to legally act on his or her behalf. Once a person has signed the document, an agent can make legal, financial, or medical decisions for the signor. The word "general" in this term indicates that the authorized agent has complete legal authority to act for the person, as opposed to just partial, or in certain circumstances.

Justipedia explains General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney is an especially relevant issue if a person undergoes an accident resulting in unconsciousness for an extended amount of time. In these circumstances, if the person has given the general power of attorney to someone, then that person can make decisions in place of the signor if needed.

For example, if the person's accident occurred on the eve of a major financial transaction, the agent who has general power of attorney could see that the transaction goes through. If the issue is life threatening, the agent could make decisions about how long the person should be kept on life support, etc.

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