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What is a power of attorney?

Power of attorney definition: A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that lets you appoint someone to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf. The person authorizing the other to act on their behalf is referred to as the principal, grantor, or donor. The person authorized to act is the agent or attorney-in-fact. With a power of attorney, the person you appoint will be legally permitted to take care of important matters for you, including paying your bills and managing your investments, if you are unable to do so for yourself. A durable power of attorney (DPOA) serves the same function as a power of attorney, however, a durable power of attorney is effective even if you become incapacitated.

Benefits of a power of attorney for finances

Power of Attorney - Appoint Someone to Make Financial Decisions on Your Behalf

Choose a decision maker.

Let someone you trust make important financial decisions if you're unable to.

Select a POA to Avoid Court Proceedings

Avoid the courts.

A power of attorney is a cheaper and less stressful alternative to guardianship proceedings.

Keep Your Finances Under Control with a Power of Attorney

Provides peace of mind.

With a plan in place, your finances stay under control if a serious illness occurs.

You can make changes in the future

If you want to give your agent more control or less, or change agents entirely, you can simply fill out a new power of attorney form. We also offer a legal plan that lets you make unlimited revisions to your POA document.

Learn more about a power of attorney

It fits your needs

You may just want to delegate certain tasks like bill paying and contract signing while you're out of town. Or maybe you want to prepare for the unexpected. Either way, it lets your affairs continue without interruption.

Is a power of attorney right for me?

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Basic

$35

Your Power of Attorney document

Personalized legal document specific to your state.

FREE revisions for 30 days

We'll review, reprint and mail your POA up to 30 days after purchase.

Peace of Mind ReviewTM

A document specialist makes sure your work is consistent and complete.

Comprehensive

$44.95

For only $9.99 more, get
everything from Basic plus:

Rush processing

Expedited review and printing in 2 business days.

Email delivery

Emailed to you as soon as it's complete.

30-day trial of attorney advice1

Speak with an independent attorney on an unlimited number of new legal matters.

Estate Plan Bundle

$149

You save $114 (43% off reg. price $263)

Everything from Basic plus these additional services:

Last Will & Testament OR Living Trust
(up to $249 value)

Make sure your wishes are known. Name guardians for children, beneficiaries for assets, and someone to manage your estate.

Living Will
($39 value)

State end-of-life wishes and includes a Healthcare Power of Attorney.

1 year of Attorney Advice2 and FREE revisions
($119.88 value)

Membership includes 30-minute independent attorney consults on your estate plan or other new legal matters.

Try out Estate Planning app - it's the easiest way to schedule and manage your legal and tax consultations, plus you get free unlimited storage.

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Common Questions

When will my durable power of attorney take effect?
You can choose to have it take effect immediately. Or it can be a "springing" power of attorney that kicks in only if you become incapacitated.
Is a durable power of attorney revocable?
Yes, you can revoke it whenever you want, as long as you're mentally capable.
How much power can I grant through a POA?
Generally, you can permit your agent to make all your financial decisions. Or you can limit their powers to certain ones.
Is it state-specific?
Yes, and most states recognize powers of attorney signed in other states. But it may be a good idea to get a new one when you move.
What actions can my attorney-in-fact perform?
A power of attorney lets your agent do any or all of these tasks:
  • Pay for support and care
  • Borrow money
  • Conduct banking transactions
  • Manage property
  • Handle legal claims
  • Access safe deposit boxes
  • Deal with insurance and retirement benefits
  • Exercise stockholder rights
  • Contract for services
  • Make gifts
  • Collect social security benefits
  • Any other task you need, allowed by law

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Questions and answers

This public forum is not intended to provide legal advice and is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Unless specifically indicated, the content is not drafted, supported, or vetted by LegalZoom. It is simply a place for customers to help customers. If you need legal advice, LegalZoom can connect you to a licensed and independent attorney. If you are providing answers, please do not provide legal advice if you are not qualified or licensed to do so.


Create a Power of Attorney Online with LegalZoom

A financial power of attorney is a simple, inexpensive, and reliable way to arrange for someone to manage your finances if you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for yourself. LegalZoom can help you appoint a durable power of attorney for finances to handle important financial and legal matters on your behalf. The person you name as your power of attorney will be legally permitted to handle important matters for you, which includes paying bills and managing investments if you are not able to do so for yourself. When you create a power of attorney for finances through LegalZoom, you will receive a personalized legal document specific to your state and advanced provisions to safeguard your family. The process begins by completing a simple online questionnaire. We review the answers for consistency and completeness, and then mail your power of attorney package to you. Start protecting your finances by making a power of attorney form with LegalZoom 


1 Available in most states. Telephone consultations with a participating firm, during normal business hours, of up to one half (1/2) hour each, limited to one consultation for each new legal matter. Excludes business-related matters. After the 30 day period, benefits to the Personal Legal Plan (also Legal Advantage Plus) continue automatically for $14.99 per month. You can cancel by calling (877) 818-8787. For full details, see the Legal Plan Contract and Advantage Terms of Service.

2 Telephone consultations with a participating firm, during normal business hours, of up to one half (1/2) hour each, limited to one consultation for each new legal matter. Excludes business-related matters. Limit one Personal Legal Plan per bundle. Benefits to the Personal Legal Plan (also Legal Advantage Plus) continue automatically for $119.88 per year. You can cancel by calling (877) 818-8787. For full details, see the Legal Plan Contract and Advantage Terms of Service.