A power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on behalf of someone in personal, business, or legal matters. The primary, grantor, or donor is the person who authorizes the other to act (of the power). The agent, attorney, or, in some common law countries, the attorney-in-fact, is the person who has the authority to act. Previously, a "power" referred to an instrument signed under seal, and a "letter" referred to an instrument signed by the parties by hand, but today, a power of attorney does not need to be signed under seal. Some jurisdictions require notarization or witnessing of powers of attorney, whereas others will enforce a power of attorney if it is signed by the grantor. In several countries, the term attorney-in-fact is used instead of the word 'agent'. It's important to distinguish that word from attorney-at-law. An attorney-at-law is a solicitor who is also licensed as an advocate in a certain jurisdiction in the United States.
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