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(1) When creating a power of attorney or other legal document, the person who appoints an attorney-in-fact or agent to act on his or her behalf. (2) In criminal law, the main perpetrator of a crime. (3) In commercial law, the total amount of a loan, not including any capitalized fees or interest. (4) In the law of trusts, the property of the trust, as opposed to the income generated by that property. The principal is also known as the trust corpus; that's Latin for "body." So, if $1 million is put into a trust; the $1 million is the trust principal or corpus.

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