General Power of Attorney
A general Power of Attorney is used by the principal to allow the agent to handle all of his or her affairs during a period of time when he or she is not capable of doing so, for example, when the principal is traveling out of the country for a long time span or when he or she is physically or mentally unable to handle his or her affairs. Any adult who is of sound mind and is competent to contract can execute a general Power of Attorney in favor of another adult who is of sound mind and is competent to contract.
A general Power of Attorney usually reads: “Be it known, that [insert name] has made and appointed, and by these presents does make and appoint [insert name] true and lawful attorney for him/her and in his/her name, place and stead, giving and granting to said attorney, general, full and unlimited power and authority to do and perform all and every act and thing whatsoever requisite necessary to be done in and about the premises as fully, to all intents and purposes, as could be done if personally present...”
A general Power of Attorney should only be given to someone the principal trusts implicitly, as it allows the agent to do everything the principal could do if he or she were present. Therefore, a general Power of Attorney has enormous potential for abuse. If the person who holds the principal’s general Power of Attorney cannot be trusted or turns against him or her, the principal’s car could be sold or bank account depleted. It is because of these potential dangers that a limited Power of Attorney rather than a general Power of Attorney is advisable.