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A power of attorney is a legal instrument used to give someone the authority to act on your behalf. The person who signs the power of attorney is called the principal. The person who is given authority to do something is called the agent or the attorney in fact. With the power of attorney, you can give someone the power to make certain financial, legal, or other decisions on your behalf. The power of attorney can be general, such as to manage your financial affairs while you are out of the country; or it can be specific, like having someone sell your car for you. A power of attorney can either be durable or nondurable. A durable power of attorney continues in effect even if you become incapacitated. A nondurable [power of attorney] terminates if you become incapacitated. To give someone power of attorney, simply fill out an appropriate power of attorney form that can be found on LawInfo.com, or have your attorney draft one for you. You must clearly state what you want the other person to be able do for you. It is recommended that a power of attorney be witnessed by a notary public or an attorney. In some cases, the power of attorney must be witnessed by certain officials like a notary. For more information about powers of attorney, contact an estate planning attorney in your area today.