Power-of-attorney forms can be procured for a fee at Rocket Lawyer.com and Nolo.com. Free power of attorney forms are available for download at LawDepot.com, AllLaw.com and other websites. However, these forms should only be used after an attorney has verified their suitability, warns AllLaw.
A power of attorney refers to an agreement between a principal and an agent, who is referred to as an attorney-in-fact, explains Legal Information Institute. The agreement grants an agent legal power to act on the principal's behalf. Despite the legal nature of the agreement, an attorney-in-fact is not required to be a lawyer.
The agreement, which is also known as a letter of attorney, gives an agent the authority to sign documents and write checks on the principal's behalf, explains Rocket Lawyer. There are several forms of this agreement. A general power of attorney grants the agent broad legal powers, while a special power of attorney restricts representation to specific situations. A durable power of attorney, on the other hand, allows agents to exercise their mandate even in situations where the principal is incapacitated. In contrast, a nondurable power of attorney ends an agent's mandate when the principal becomes incompetent.
To be valid, a power-of-attorney document should be signed, and the individual designated as an agent must be at least 18 years old, explains Rocket Lawyer. Depending on the state, the document may need to be signed by a notary in addition to the principal's witnesses.