A Power of Attorney is a legal document used to appoint someone you trust to act for or in place of you. Once obtained the Power of Attorney gives one person the authority to act on behalf of the other. The person receiving the authority to act as Power of Attorney is called the Donee (or Attorney) and the person that is granting the Power of Attorney is called the Donor.
This is the case whichever type of Power of Attorney is being put into place.
Types of Power of Attorney
There are two types of Power of Attorney and these are:
• Ordinary Power of Attorney
• Lasting Power of Attorney.
Ordinary Power of Attorney
Typically this type of power of attorney is used to appoint someone to manage a person’s affairs temporarily, for example, when they are overseas on business or holiday. The document can be drafted to grant general powers to act in all matters or can be limited to specific functions. An example of a specific function would be granting authority for a person to run your business and sign documents in your place or to deal with your bank in your absence.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
This was previously called an Enduring Power of Attorney. It is intended to be used when the person granting the LPA is unable to handle their affairs anymore. Once registered, the Attorney is granted full control over the Donor’s affairs. To be valid, once completed, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
There are two forms of LPA these being:
• Health and Welfare
• Property and Financial Affairs
Health and Welfare LPA
A Health and Welfare LPA allows you to choose one or more people to make decisions on your behalf for such things as medical treatment. A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used if you lack the ability to make such decisions yourself.
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
A property and financial affairs LPA lets you choose one or more people to make property and financial affairs decisions for you. This could include decisions about paying bills or selling your home. You can appoint someone as an Attorney to look after your property and financial affairs as soon as it has been registered or you can include a condition that means the Attorney can only make decisions when you lose the ability to do so yourself.
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