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n. someone specifically named by another through a written "power of attorney" to act for that person in the conduct of the appointer's business. In a "general power of attorney" the attorney-in-fact can conduct all business or sign any document, and in a "special power of attorney" he/she can only sign documents or act in relation to special identified matters. Too often people sign themselves as attorney-in-fact for relatives or associates without any power of attorney. If someone claims to be able to sign for another, a demand to see the written power of attorney is reasonable and necessary. In real estate matters the power of attorney must be formally acknowledged before a notary public so that it can be recorded along with the real estate deed, deed of trust, mortgage, or other document. (See: power of attorney)