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What is a power of attorney and how does it work? To keep a board game running while one player takes a break, that player could say to another ‘roll the dice and move for me.’ They are granting the second player power to act fully within the game rules. This is basically what ‘general power of attorney’ means in the rules of the legal system – authorization for one person to act legally on behalf of another person. If the player says ‘roll but don’t move’, that would be called ‘limited power’; limited legal power-of-attorney might cover only healthcare decisions, or only property decisions. While some legal jurisdictions accept spoken power-of-attorney decisions like this game-play example, other jurisdictions, or institutions like banks or hospitals, frequently require written or even notarized documents. The person granting this power must have the mental capacity to understand their decision.