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18 Jan 2022


Understanding Power of Attorney

Understanding the role power of attorney documents can play in handling legal and financial matters for those suffering from illness or incapacitation.

A power of attorney is a simple way of handing over the responsibility of making decisions about your money, property, health and personal welfare to an experienced solicitor. Typically a written legal document, a power of attorney will usually set out who you would want to care for your responsibilities and decisions in the future if you are unable to look after your affairs due to age or illness.

Who Will It Be?

The power of attorney will usually be given to someone you trust, such as a family member, life partner, close friend or solicitor. A power of attorney can include ongoing decisions over your money or property, which is known as a continuing or lasting power of attorney. This can be used to help on a variety of financial matters. Because a power of attorney gives legal authority for someone to act on your behalf, it is vitally important you take advice from a solicitor at this stage.

The Main Types of POA

There is three key power of attorneys that each provides different permissions and responsibilities:

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney allows your chosen individual, i.e, a family member, friend or solicitor, (known as the agent), to act on behalf of you, (the principal) in the majority of legal matters. The power of attorney will allow the agent to gain permission to authorise the sale of property, manage assets, handle bank accounts and file taxes for the principal whenever required.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney works similarly to a general POA but instead focuses the permissions on a specific matter or event. For example, the POA may state that the agent is only specifically allowed to manage or handle matters regarding the principal’s bank account but not property or assets.

Durable Power of Attorney

In a durable power of attorney, (DPOA), the principal will choose to authorise the agent to continue their powers if the agent is incapacitated or falls ill in the future. This is particularly helpful for those suffering or recently diagnosed with an illness or health condition that will incapacitate them and reduce their ability to understand and negotiate financial matters. Once an illness takes hold, or an agent becomes incapacitated, the POA allows the principal to continue their work without further permission from the agent.

Based in Newport, Harding Evans Solicitors is a firm of fully qualified and experienced solicitors specialising in the power of attorney, civil litigation, employment law, discrimination, divorce proceedings and marital law. We have significant experience in this industry and we’re able to represent both claimants and defendants dealing with issues such as dismissal, discrimination, divorce and separation. Contact us today for all your legal needs.

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