Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document by which you appoint another person (the Attorney) to act in your place if you are unable to do so yourself, for any reason. A Power of Attorney is an important aspect of any estate planning.
You can protect your assets by appointing an attorney to represent your financial interests and manage your affairs if you become incapacitated and cannot do so yourself because of accident, injury or debilitating illness.
A power of attorney can also be used by your attorney in the event you are unavailable to execute documents. You can execute what is called a “specific power of attorney” which grants someone the right to act on your behalf for a specific matter only such as the sale of a particular property.
An “enduring power of attorney” will endure and remain valid if you become incompetent to manage your own affairs. If you do not have a valid Power of Attorney, it could be necessary for your family to make a court application to become your legal Guardian under the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act. The Court process can be slow and expensive and, in most case, requires the applicant to post a surety bond while acting as Guardian.
Wise planning in advance will help avoid a guardianship application so you can appoint an Attorney who will look after your assets and liabilities when you cannot.