General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney can be used to make sure that you and your family
are taken care of in the event of an accident or other situation affecting your
ability to manage your own affairs. The General Power of Attorney is a document
that appoints an attorney to act on your behalf in relation to general activities
such as personal and/or financial matters on the occurence of certain events.
For example, you may just be out of the country for several months and need
someone to monitor your affairs in the meantime. Or, it could be that you are
becoming ill with a disease and you need someone to help you if you are
declared unable to handle your affairs in the future. The Power of Attorney does
not actually have to be given to a legally qualified attorney, the Attorney can be a
close friend or relative. Ultimately, the Attorney you appoint must be someone
that you trust completely and believe is competent to deal with your affairs
Once a Power of Attorney has been put in place, it can be terminated at any
time using a Deed of Revocation of Power of Attorney. You can choose to
appoint an Attorney generally to act on your behalf. In this situation, the
Attorney will have the authority to manage all and any of your affairs.
Alternatively, you can choose to grant your Attorney authority to undertake only
specific tasks on your behalf, such as renewing your car insurance premium or
managing a specific bank account, for example. A General Power of Attorney is
most often used by an individual who will be away travelling for a period of time
or by individuals whose mobility is affected and wish to appoint someone who
can do things on their behalf.
A General Power of Attorney will become automatically void in the event
that you lose your mental capabilities. Accordingly, a General Power of
Attorney is often not suitable for managing the affairs of the elderly or
mentally ill. For such individuals, a Lasting Power of Attorney should be
used, which continues to be valid once a person loses their full mental
abilities, provided that it is registered with the Court of Protection. If you
are declared mentally incompetent, you would first have to be declared
competent again before you can sign a Deed of Revocation to retain
control of your affairs.
Do the right thing . . . Making a Will is the only way to protect your family and give them peace of mind.
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