Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Powers of Attorney. If you do not find the answer to your question below then do not hesitate to give us a call on the number above or complete our feedback form.
When do I need A Power Of Attorney?
You will need a power of attorney if you want to authorise someone to handle a transaction or sign a document on your behalf. Powers of attorney can authorise the attorney to do anything that the donor can lawfully do and can be used in a wide variety of corporate, commercial and private transactions.
What types of general power are available?
There is only one form of general power of attorney. Its contents are prescribed by section 10 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1971.
What types of special power are available?
Each special power of attorney is different: it depends on the situation in which you wish to use it. You may wish to allow somebody to make all decisions on your behalf in relation to a specific transaction or you may wish to allow your attorney only to sign a particular document in a certain way, in which case a more limited power is needed. It is important to get the correct advice - Legal Clarity is here to help.
What legal formalities are needed to create a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is created as a deed and needs to be drafted to contain certain legal wording and reflect your wishes and concerns. General powers must be drafted in accordance with section 10 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1971. LPAs must contain certain prescribed information. Legal Clarity will advise you as to the best way forward.
Who should I choose as an Attorney?
You can choose anybody over the age of 18 who has full mental capacity to act as your attorney but they must consent to act. The person chosen should be somebody that you trust but does not have to be a member of your family.
Does anybody need to be notified of the appointment?
Nobody needs to be advised of the appointment of the attorney under a general or special power of attorney, but as these powers are usually created to help speed up transactions, the legal representatives of the other parties to the transaction are likely to want to see either the original power or a copy certified by a legal representative and to be able to check that the power has been validly granted. LPAs must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian before they can take effect.
Can I limit the powers I have given to my attorney?
Yes, you have the right to limit what an attorney can do with your property under a special power of attorney; it can be limited in any way that is set out in the document. General powers are not limited.
Is there a difference in how LPAS and other power of attorney work?
Yes, with an LPA the attorney can continue to act if you lose mental capacity within legal limits, but if you have given an attorney power to act on your behalf under a general or special power, this ceases absolutely when you lose mental capacity.
Can a company appoint an attorney?
Yes, subject to the company's articles of association. Limited liability partnerships (LLPs) can also appoint attorneys as can general partnerships, although in the latter case the power must be signed by all the partners or the partnership agreement must make provision for the execution of powers of attorney by one or more of the partners.
Can a company be an attorney?
Yes, subject to the company's articles of association. LLPs can also be appointed as attorneys. Any legal person can be an attorney.
Where it is desired to appoint a general partnership as an attorney, the appointment needs to be made in favour of all the partners rather than the firm itself.
Can I appoint more than one Attorney?
Yes, you can appoint more than one person to act as your attorney. You can also appoint someone to act as a replacement if the original attorney can no longer act (for example, if he dies, becomes bankrupt or loses mental capacity).
If you appoint more than one attorney, your attorneys can either act jointly or jointly and severally. If they are appointed jointly, they must act together; if jointly and severally, they can act together or separately.
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