A power of attorney or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, grantor, or donor, and the one authorized to act is the agent, donee, or attorney, in some common law jurisdictions, the attorney-in-fact.If the attorney-in-fact is being paid to act for the principal, the contract is usually separate from the power of attorney itself, so if that contract is in writing, it is a separate document, kept private between them, whereas the power of attorney is intended to be shown to various other people. Formerly, a power referred to an instrument under seal while a letter was an instrument under hand, but today both are under hand, and therefore there is no difference between the two.The term attorney-in-fact is used in several states of the United States in place of the term agent in power of attorney documents and should be distinguished from the term attorney-at-law. An attorney-at-law in the United States is a lawyer someone licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. The Uniform Power of Attorney Act employs the term agent. As an agent, an attorney-in-fact is a fiduciary for the principal, so the law requires an attorney-in-fact to be completely honest with and loyal to the principal in their dealings with each other.In the context of the unincorporated reciprocal inter-insurance exchange the attorney-in-fact is a stakeholder/trustee who takes custody of the subscriber funds placed on deposit with him, and then uses those funds to pay insurance claims. When all the claims are paid, the attorney-in-fact then returns the leftover funds to the subscribers.