A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person grants another person to make decisions on their behalf.
A General Power of Attorney can be used in several ways – from having another take care of your affairs whilst travelling to times of extended illness.
An Enduring Power of Attorney takes this a step further, whereby the person nominated to manage the affairs (also called the ‘Attorney’) may continue to manage the affairs once the person giving the power (also called the ‘Principal’) is found to have diminished mental capacity due to injury or illness. This arrangement can remain in place as long as the donor is still alive.
There are a number of decisions to be made when signing an Enduring Power of Attorney document. For example:-
You can choose to appoint just one Attorney or multiple Attorneys.
If choosing multiple Attorneys, they can be appointed jointly (all Attorneys must agree on decisions), jointly and severally (Attorneys can separately make decisions) or by majority (a majority of the Attorneys can make decisions).
The appointment can be for financial matters, personal matters or both. Financial matters relate to the principal’s financial affairs and any legal matter relating to such affairs (for example, paying expenses, signing Contracts). Personal matters relate to the principal’s personal affairs and any legal matter relating to such affairs (for example, determining where the principal lives).
You can decide that the appointment comes into effect immediately or at a later date or upon a specified event (for example, on the principal losing capacity).
You can also nominate alternative Attorneys to replace other Attorneys (for example, in the event that the appointed Attorney lost capacity).
The most common scenario is for the principal to appoint one or two trusted persons jointly and severally to be their Attorneys, with the appointment effective immediately.
In order to sign a Power of Attorney, the principal must be capable of understanding the nature of the document he or she is signing.
A principal can also sign an Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment). This document appoints a person as Agent for making decisions about medical treatment.
If you would like to know more about Powers of Attorney or would like to appoint an Attorney, please arrange a consultation with Dwyer Legal and chat with an experienced solicitor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Choose Us?
As lawyers, we are trained in all aspects of property law but also provide a full legal service. For example, we are qualified to provide the legal advice often required by lenders on signing of the Mortgage documents. Generally, when we are handling the Conveyancing for you, we will provide this advice at no additional charge. We are also available to provide this service to clients that do not use our services for the Conveyancing (for example, a Conveyancing Company that is not qualified to provide legal advice on Mortgage documents), with charges at our standard hourly rates.
We recommend that when purchasing property you review your Will. We will review your existing Will at no charge and also offer a discount on new Wills when we handle the Conveyancing for you.