In real estate, a power of attorney is basically a legal document that allows you to grant another person the authority to engage in certain transactions associated with a property that you own. In a sense, this written authorization will allow someone to represent you or act on your behalf in case you are unable to make decisions about your property yourself. Some instances where you might need to make this document are:
- When you are going out of town and you have important real-estate documents to be signed.
- When you are going to be unavailable to look after your property for a certain period of time.
- When you are living far away from your property and needing somebody else to manage it for you.
Generally, a power of attorney covers all assets that are held by you as the principal—a person who uses an agent for negotiations with third parties. These assets can include (but are not limited to) real estate, stocks, and bank accounts.
As for the contract terms, what you want your attorney to do depends entirely on how much power you give him. For example, you could give him “general” power, where he is allowed to handle all of your property and financial affairs, or you could give him “specific” power, which means that he is allowed to handle only some of your affairs. Either way, you should clearly state what aspects you want him to take care of in the document.