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Why We Need General Power Of Attorney?

Author : Mark Robert

Submitted : 2011-01-17 04:21:10    Word Count : 1053    Popularity:   22

Tags:   health and safety, last will and testament, letter of confidentiality, business terms and conditions

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General Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is the formal authority under which a person gives authority to another to act on their behalf. A General Power of Attorney is a legal document which is used by the principal to allow the agent to handle all of his or her affairs during a period of time when he or she is not capable of doing so (including property, shares, money etc.), either generally or in relation to specific items.

The person or organization you appoint is referred to as an ""Attorney-in-Fact"" or ""Agent.""

Types of Powers of Attorney

General Power of Attorney
This is where you appoint someone, usually for a specific period of time, to make financial or legal decisions for you.

Health Care Power of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to designate a person (an ""Agent"") who will have the authority to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make such decisions

Special Power of Attorney
A special power of attorney allows you to give only specific powers to the person or organization you appoint as your Agent. For example, you could authorize someone to sell a car or a house for you.

Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), previously known as enduring power of attorney, allows individuals to appoint Attorneys to look after their property and financial affairs (a Property and Financial Affairs LPA) and also to make health and personal welfare decisions (a Health and Welfare LPA) when they lack the capacity to make these decisions themselves in the future. The Attorney(s) can only use the LPA after it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

The Pros and Cons of the Power Of Attorney

Why the document is useful
The general power of attorney would be useful if, for example, you are selling your home and the exchange of contracts is due to take place around the time when you will be away on holiday. Then, if there are problems while you are away on holiday - e.g. a last minute amendment to what is included within the fixtures and fittings of the property - these amendments can be signed off by your 'attorney' under your general power of attorney. Failure to have a power of attorney in place may mean that, in this scenario, you cannot complete the paperwork in the proper form accepted by solicitors and Land Registry for a property sale even if you fully know and have agreed to all the amendments.

Problem lies with power of attorney
Remember that in giving a power of attorney to someone, you are basically giving up all your powers in favour of your attorney. For instance, your agent has full right to agree or refuse to sign a contract on your behalf. If the agent turns out to be corrupt, then any transaction that he handles is at risk for fraud. Thus, giving that kind of power to one person can be very risky even if you plan to monitor all the transaction made in your name.

Deciding Who to Appoint
You need to make this decision for yourself. You can choose any adult to be your agent. You should try to appoint someone who you have grounds for believing is trustworthy and who both knows you well enough, and is objective enough, to make the decisions that are best for you. You should talk to that person first to make sure that he or she is willing to be your agent.

Other people, including family members, can now be involved in ensuring that your best interests are taken into account, even if they are not named as an attorney.

Appointing more than one decision-maker can help you get a balanced outcome.

However, on the other hand, if you appoint them jointly and they cannot come to an agreement about what to do then a decision cannot be made.

Can Principal Limit Attorney’s Powers?
A principal can limit or place conditions on how he wants his attorney/s to carry out their responsibilities. For example, manage the principal’s financial affairs generally while they are abroad, until a given date

Registering A Power Of Attorney
A Power of Attorney must be registered before it becomes effective.

Mental Competence and Validity of Power of Attorney
In order for a power of attorney document to be valid, you must be mentally competent when you sign it. This means that you must understand the powers that you are granting to your Agent and the implications of having someone else make decisions for you.

It is also assumed that the agent will be completely honest and truthful with his business dealing in representing the donor. When the attorney/agent is proven to be dishonest and fraudulent, all the things that he has signed – when the power of attorney is still in effect – will be deemed invalid.

Once I Have Created a Power of Attorney Can I Still Act on My Own Behalf?
Yes. The power of attorney gives your agent the legal right to act on your behalf. However, it does not remove the power for you to act for yourself.

Can I Revoke my General Power of Attorney?
When you no longer want your general power of attorney to be in force, you can revoke the general power of attorney by completing a deed of revocation.

In addition, if the person creating the power of attorney loses mental capacity, the general power of attorney will automatically come to an end.

Net Lawman’s General Power of Attorney
Net Lawman has various templates of power of attorney. Our templates have been designed to protect your legal rights when you need to hand over power of attorney to another. You can customize the template according to your own wishes. The document available for download is written by expert team of Solicitors and Barristers to ensure your rights are being protected.

You can edit the documents when you need to and reuse it at any time. The templates are useful for long term and short term appointments of power of attorney.

Our templates have been designed to be used in South Africa, and are regularly updated to comply with domestic legislation.

Author's Resource Box

Health and Safety - Last Will and Testament - Letter of Confidentiality - Business Terms and Conditions

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