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What is Power of Attorney?

In this article we have answered four main questions:
  • What is Power of Attorney?
  • What does a Power of Attorney do?
  • Who can I appoint as my Attorney(S)?
  • What would happen if I didn’t have Power of Attorney?

Click here to find out more about Powers of Attorney.

What is Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a written document giving someone else authority to take actions or make decisions on your behalf. You choose the person(s) you want to help you. These person(s) are called an Attorney and you can decide what powers the attorney should have. You also choose how you want your incapacity to be decided so that it is clear when you want your Attorney(s) to act for you.

Under a Continuing Power of Attorney you appoint individual(s) who can assist in dealing with your financial affairs if you are incapable of doing so.

Under a Welfare Power of Attorney your Attorney(s) deal with matters relating to your personal welfare, such as decision about care, accommodation and medical treatment. Such decisions would only be made by your Attorney(s) if a doctor certifies you have become unable to give your own instructions.

What does a Power of Attorney do?

It lets you say who you want to look after your affairs and what you want your Attorney(s) to be able to do for you if you are incapable of doing for yourself. Normally a Power of Attorney is not actually used until such times as you are unable to deal with matters yourself.

Who can I appoint as my Attorney(S)?

It is your choice to appoint whoever you want. This could be a family member, a Solicitor or other professional or a combination. You could appoint one person to deal with your financial affairs and another to deal with your personal welfare.

Please note that someone who has been declared bankrupt cannot be appointed as a continuing Attorney.

What would happen if I didn’t have Power of Attorney?

If you did not have a Power of Attorney and became incapable to give instructions or sign papers, maybe through illness, a Guardian may have to be appointed by the Court to deal with your financial affairs. This process can be expensive and time consuming.

Click here to find out more about Powers of Attorney.

Your turn

  1. Do you have a question about Powers of Attorney?
  2. Have you had any specific challenges with Powers of Attorney?

Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments section below.

What is Power of Attorney?

Posted by at 03/12/2015 17:10:55
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