Power of Appointment Law and Legal Definition

A power of appointment is typically used to refer to the authority given by a person making a will to another, allowing them to dispose of the property in their estate. There are two general types of powers of appointment, a general power of appointment and a specific power of appointment.

A general power of appointment allows the holder to distribute the property to anyone, while a specific power of appointment designates that the property be distributed among among a specified group or class of people. If the person holding the power of appointment does not exercise his or her power, the property may go to others specified in the will or by law as "takers in default of appointment." Unlike a trustee, the holder does not manage the property, but merely acts to divide or distribute the property.