A power of attorney is a legal document where one person, referred to as the principal, gives another person, known as the “attorney-in-fact,” authority to make decisions for them. The attorney-in-fact doesn’t need to be an actual attorney, but it should be someone the principal trusts to make sound choices on their behalf.
Powers of attorney can be “durable,” which means they are still in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions. Durable powers of attorney typically end with the principal’s death. A general power of attorney that is not durable is no longer effective if the principal becomes incapacitated.
In most states, a power of attorney must be notarized to be effective.