What is a Power of Attorney Letter?

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  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2018
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A power of attorney letter is a legal document that grants a law firm or any individual specified within the contract the right to make decisions on behalf of the person represented within the letter. There are a number of reasons that people have a power of attorney letter prepared, and in many cases, it involves business transactions, health care decisions, or the interpretation of legal matters. The elderly will also often enact a power of attorney letter to designate an individual to handle their financial matters when they are no longer able to.

The power of attorney letter needs to consist of at least a few basic definitions in order to be considered legal and binding. First, a person or business entity must be named to serve on behalf of the person signing the letter. A scope of those responsibilities should also be provided, and they can range from being extremely limited to granting full power over the decisions within that person’s life. If the power of attorney is to be limited to a certain amount of time, such as while a client is out of town, that should be specified within the document as well. Power of attorney letters must also be notarized in front of a witness to be considered official.


Perhaps the most common form of a power of attorney letter is prepared in order to grant a legal firm the right to act on the behalf of a person or business entity. This allows a legal representative the right to sign documents on the client’s behalf and to interpret any correspondence sent to the client involving legal matters. The reason this is such a standard practice within businesses is largely due to time efficiency; it eliminates the need for important paperwork to be sent to the client and then relayed to the attorney. Other instances where a lawyer would require a power of attorney letter would be to acquire official records that are only available to the client, like medical records, birth certificates, or other confidential types of records.

There are also several other situations where a power of attorney letter would be applicable. They are often provided to health care officials, lending institutions, family members, and whenever a situation arises where an individual would be better served by allowing someone else to make a decision for him. A power of attorney letter can also be revoked by issuing a similar document absolving the legal relationship.


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