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An Attorney-in-Fact—which is also referred to as an “Agent”—is the person who is appointed by another person to serve as that other person’s Agent under that other person’s Power of Attorney. The person who signs a Power of Attorney is known as the Principal. The person who is appointed to act on behalf of the Principal is the Principal’s Agent.
Example: Arthur signs a document called a “Power of Attorney.” In the introductory provisions of the document, Arthur appoints Barbara to serve as his Agent with regard to certain of Arthur’s financial affairs, which are described in the following pages of the document.
In this example, Arthur is the Principal of his Power of Attorney and Barbara is Arthur’s Attorney-in-Fact (or Arthur’s Agent) and can act on Arthur’s behalf. Depending on the provisions that are included in Arthur’s Power of Attorney, Barbara can act on Arthur’s behalf with regard to a number of matters, including Arthur’s particular finances, his living arrangements, his taxes, and the like. In addition, depending the type of Power of Attorney that Arthur signed, Barbara’s authority to act as Arthur’s Agent can continue even after Arthur loses his mental capacity (in which case Arthur’s Power of Attorney would be a Durable Power of Attorney).