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John Legal
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In a written document, how can Person A with Power of Attorney

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In a written document, how can Person A with Power of Attorney for Person B designate in Person A's signature line that they do have such Power of Attorney for Person B? Is it proper / legally recognized that when Person A adds "POA for [Person B]" to the line below their name designating their position, that Person A does have Power of Attorney for Person B? Is "POA" legally recognized to mean "Power of Attorney"...? Or must one spell out "Power of Attorney" to avoid confusion over what "POA" stands for...? And in laymen's language, do most people recognize "POA" to mean "Power of Attorney"...? Or is it a lesser-known designation that most do not immediately recognize and is often confused with other acronyms, i.e. "Property Owner's Association" or "Price on Application"...?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John Legal replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

You are correct that POA is generally recognized as Power of Attorney when added to a signature on behalf of someone. The reason that it is not mistaken for other acronyms is that prior to placing POA you would be putting Person B's name "by" Person A, POA or something similar.

There is no exact way to sign on behalf of someone at their attorney in fact under a Power of Attorney. It just needs to be clear to the other party of the contract or agreement that you are signing that you are doing so not as yourself but as a representative for Person B. The following are some generally accepted designations. The first is technically the most legally correct but practically it is a lot for every time you sign:

"Person B, by and through his/her attorney-in-fact, Person A"
"Person B, by Person A, POA"
"Person B, by Person A, attorney-in-fact"
"Person B, by Person A, Power of Attorney"

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In the specific document giving rise to this question, the letter is authored and written by Person A, not by Person B. Therefore, it could initially be confusing for Person B to sign as the author, but helpful for the recipient to know that Person A who wrote the letter has POA for Person B, and therefore the content of the letter was written on behalf of and for the benefit of Person B. Would it be acceptable for Person A to provide original hand-written signature on one line then put beneath such signature: "POA for [Person B]"...? Note that this is just a letter and not a contract although the letter could be called into evidence later in that contract negotiations are in process. The letter is in response to a written estimate sent by a Contractor that was 225% higher than the original estimate given by the Contractor verbally to Person A to perform certain improvements to a residence owned by Person B.

Expert:  John Legal replied 1 year ago.
That is perfectly fine for the attorney-in-fact to write the letter on behalf of Person B.

They can sign it as you suggested "to provide original hand-written signature on one line then put beneath such signature: "POA for [Person B]""

Or, if the letter has not been completed yet, it is better to use my suggestion above as the signature "Person B, by and through his/her attorney-in-fact, Person A". This is very clear legally that the letter is being sent on behalf of Person B, not on A's behalf.

John
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