A power of attorney is a legal document that allows another person to act on your behalf in financial matters only. It ensures that important matters are dealt with by someone you trust if you are unable to deal with them yourself.
As expressed above, a grant of power of attorney may be for a specified purpose, a limited power, for example, to carry out a particular transaction such as a sale or purchase of a house; or the grant may be of a general power which allows the person with the power of attorney to carry out any business, act, matter or thing or deal with any affairs or assets of the person that has granted such a power.
The person granting the power of attorney is called the donor, principal or grantor. The person receiving the power of attorney is called the donee, the attorney or grantee.
Power of attorney may only be granted by someone who is over the age of 18 and who is of sound mind at the time of the grant and capable of fully understanding the nature and purpose of the document that they are signing.
The attorney must also be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. Subject to the manner of grant of the power of attorney, the attorney may act individually or jointly with another. Unless specifically provided for in the grant, the attorney is not entitled to exercise his powers for his own benefit or advantage.
Power of Attorney – Limited
Is determined by the terms of the document itself and will naturally depend upon the circumstances of the grantor and the specific objectives that the grantor wishes to achieve. A limited or general power of attorney actually ceases to operate once the grantor becomes of unsound mind.
Power of Attorney – Enduring
Continues beyond the time that the grantor becomes of unsound mind and is unable to conduct their affairs. In legal terms this is referred to as legal incapacity. By its very nature an enduring Power of Attorney is an extremely valuable document which provides peace of mind and the certainty that business and personal affairs can continue in an orderly fashion.