POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA)
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a written instrument that allows you (the "principal") to authorize
your agent (the "attorney-in-fact") to conduct certain business on your behalf. It is one of the
strongest legal documents that you can give to another person. There are two types of POA;
"general" and "special" (or limited). A general POA gives your agent very broad powers to act on
your behalf; and a special POA limits your agent's authority to act only on certain matters. Every act
performed by your agent within the authority of the POA is legally binding upon you. Since a POA is
such a powerful document, it should be given only to a trustworthy person, and only when absolutely
necessary. Your legal assistance office can advise you about, and prepare for you, the appropriate
POA needed for your situation.
GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
A General POA (GPOA) gives your agent the authority to do most things you could do yourself.
Making a GPOA can have serious consequences. With a GPOA, your agent can (for example) buy a
car with your money, borrow money that you must repay, sell your personal property, or remove all
funds from your bank account. While a GPOA may be helpful, it can also be very dangerous. Limit
the duration of the GPOA to one year or less. Ensure that your agent is someone that you absolutely
trust with all of your money and legal decisions. Another option is to create a general power of
attorney and give it to a third party (not the attorney-in-fact) to hold in escrow until it is needed.
Having two people act together in order to effectuate the GPOA makes it less likely the power will
be abused. If you lose trust in your agent, consult a legal assistance attorney about revoking the
GPOA. As an alternative, consider one or more special powers of attorney instead. If you only need
specific tasks performed while you are away, then you should not obtain a GPOA. A GPOA is also
less likely to be accepted by third parties. Personnel, military finance, and some banks will not
accept a GPOA.
SPECIAL (LIMITED) POWER OF ATTORNEY
A special, or limited, POA authorizes your agent to do only a specified act, such as sell your car, ship
your household goods, or cash your paycheck. Because it is more specific, the special POA is safer
than a broad general POA and more likely to be accepted by third parties. For deploying members,
the duration of the POA should be limited to the length of the deployment.
SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY TO ACT "IN LOCO PARENTIS"
The phrase "in loco parentis" means "in the place of the parent." This common type of special POA
grants parental authority to another (such as a caregiver) to perform a range of functions which can
include picking up a child from school, buying food and clothing, and consenting to medical
treatment of the child in the event of illness or injury. Without this type of special POA a day care
center, school, store, hospital or clinic, fearing legal repercussions, may refuse to follow the
directives of the caregiver or other agent, and require the specific authorization of the actual parent.
1) Only obtain a POA when it is necessary. Even if you are deploying, you may not need a
2) Consider other alternatives, such as online banking, handling bills online or creating a
joint bank account with your spouse to handle financial matters.
3) Any third party (business, bank, etc.) has the right to refuse to accept a POA. Many
financial institutions and businesses have their own POAs which they prefer to be used to
4) A POA should be given for only a limited time period (such as six months during a
deployment). A third party is more likely to accept a POA with a recent date than one
which is many months or years old.
5) Never give a general POA when a special POA will accomplish the intended purpose.
There is less opportunity for abuse when only limited powers are given.
6) A special POA should be as specific as possible. For example, if you are authorizing an
attorney-in-fact to sell a vehicle on your behalf, specify the vehicle, license number,
vehicle identification number, the make/model/year of the vehicle, and any specific terms
you will require.
7) A general POA does not include access to the medical records of the principal. In order
to grant someone access to your medical records you must complete a medical records
8) A POA becomes void upon the death of the principal or the agent, when it is revoked, or
upon the expiration date.
9) A POA normally is void if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. However,
appropriate durability language may be added to ensure the POA remains valid during
any period of incapacity.
10) You may revoke a POA before its expiration date by executing a revocation of the
POA; however, this is extremely difficult and should only be used as a last resort. Notice
of the revocation must be delivered to the agent, as well as to all third parties who you
know relied on the POA. If possible, recover from the attorney-in-fact and destroy the
original and all copies of the POA. Even though the POA has been revoked, you may be
responsible to any third party who did not receive notice of the revocation.
POWER OF ATTORNEY APPLICATION
PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT: Information is solicited in accordance with Title 10, US Code Section 3013, and is
used to prepare a Power of Attorney (POA). Providing information is voluntary; however, failure to provide
information precludes the preparation of a power of attorney.
I. Do you need a POA? What kind?
1. Are you deploying?
a. Are you married?
i. Do you have children? Consider a POA for Pass/ID.
ii. Do you live on base? Consider a POA to arrange or terminate base housing.
iii. Does your spouse have access to your bank accounts? Consider a POA to access bank accounts
only to pay bills or other obligations.
b. Are you single?
i. Are you a single parent? Consider an In Loco Parentis POA to allow someone to make
decisions on your behalf regarding your child(ren).
ii. Do you need someone to handle your finances or pay your bills? Consider a POA to access
bank accounts only for the purpose of paying bills.
c. Will you be making or receiving a HHG shipment? Consider a POA to file claims or a POA for shipping
or receiving HHG.
d. Are you moving overseas or moving back to the US from overseas? Consider a POA to take possession
of a vehicle and clear it through customs, register and operate the vehicle.
e. Will your taxes need to be filed before you return? Consider an income tax POA.
f. Do you plan to buy or sell a house or car? Consider a POA to buy or sell property.
2. Do you currently have health problems or anticipate undergoing a medical procedure? Consider a springing
durable POA or a medical records POA.
3. Do you want to name someone to make health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated and cannot
make those decisions on your own? Consider a living will ______or a health care surrogate______.
4. POAs terminate upon the expiration date. If there is no expiration date, it terminates when you revoke it, become
incapacitated, or die. No POA will be effective after you die, but do you want a “Durable” POA that will remain in
effect even if you become disabled, incapacitated or incompetent? ____ Yes _____ No
5. If you are a military member and do not want a durable POA, do you want this POA to remain in effect if you
become a prisoner of war or are declared missing? ____ Yes ____ No
6. Do you want this POA to be effective immediately or only after you become disabled, incapacitated, or
incompetent? _____ Now (Immediate) ____ Upon my disability (Springing)
POA Expiration Date (Length of deployment or shortest time necessary to accomplish purpose of POA)
Name of Person Receiving POA (Your Agent)
___________________________________________ ____ ___________
Street Address State Zip
II. GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY ___________ (Initial here) Please read the GPOA Briefing.
III. SPECIAL POWERS OF ATTORNEY (Initial All That Apply)
1. CLAIMS/FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
__________ __________ __________
Cash checks File claims/ All Matters MilPay
Receive payments and Finance
__________ __________ __________
Thrift Savings Plan Execute VA Loan Obtain service relief loan
Allotments: __________ __________ __________
Start Stop Change Amount From $_______
Bank Name/Location: ___________________________________________________
Account Number: ______________________________________________________
2. GOVERNMENT QUARTERS/HOUSEHOLD GOODS
__________ __________ __________ __________
Sign For Quarters Clear Quarters Ship HHG Receive HHG
3. REAL PROPERTY
__________ __________ __________ __________
Buy/Mortgage Refinance Sell Manage/Lease
Street Address of Property: _______________________________________________
Legal Description of Property: ____________________________________________
___________ __________ __________ __________
Possess/operate Register Buy/Sell Ship/Receive
Vehicle Identification Number: _____________________________________________
__________ __________ ________
Medical Only *In Loco Parentis Transport From: ______________
Education Registration/Enrollment Child(ren) Name(s) and DOB:
* Grants parental authority to another to include pickup from school, making medical decisions, etc.
6. OTHER: (Mail, veterinary, house sitting, etc.) Please describe.