Legal instrument whereby an individual is given the right to act on behalf of another individual. For example, the right to buy and sell stock and to sign all brokerage papers relating to buying and selling in a stockholder's account is given by the stockholder to another individual through power of attorney. Or the right to decide which settlement option is to be used under a life insurance policy may be given by a policy owner to another individual. Experts often advise extreme care in assigning a power of attorney since that person becomes free to make financial decisions that can enhance or ruin an individual represented.
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