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Ordinary Powers of Attorney

An Ordinary Power of Attorney is a document in which a person (the Donor) gives one or more other persons (the Attorney(s)) the legal authority to act on their behalf in relation to their financial affairs.

Granting this document does not stop the Donor from being able to handle their financial affairs. It is simply a case that the Attorney(s) will also be able to deal with financial matters for the Donor.

This document is usually created for a set period of time, usually if the Donor is going abroad or is unavailable for some other reason.

The authority granted by the power can be general or it can be limited to specific matters.

General Power

An Attorney acting with a general power is able to deal with all of the Donor's financial affairs.

Specific Power

An Attorney acting with specific powers will be restricted to acting in the circumstances specified by the document. For example -
  1. Dealing with a house purchase or sale while the Donor is abroad
  2. Operating a bank account
  3. Managing a share portfolio
  4. Making certain gifts

Powers that cannot be delegated to an Attorney

A Donor cannot authorise the Attorney to:
  1. Act as a Trustee on behalf of the Donor
  2. Sign the Donor's Will
  3. Appear in Court as a witness on his/her behalf
  4. Take over the Donor's rights as a Life Tenant of a Trust

Termination of a General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney is usually given for a specified period of time and will automatically be terminated at the end of that period.

A General Power of Attorney may also be revoked in any of the following ways:
  1. Notice to the Attorney from the Donor
  2. Mental incapacity of the Donor or Attorney
  3. Death of either the Attorney or the Donor
  4. Completion of the specified task
  5. Bankruptcy of the Attorney
  6. Illegal acts by the Attorney

Key Differences between an Ordinary Power of Attorney and a Lasting Power of Attorney

An Ordinary Power of Attorney is automatically revoked if the Donor or the Attorney loses mental capacity. This does not give the Attorney the ability to make personal welfare decisions. Those decisions can only be made by an Attorney appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney Personal Welfare.

There is no requirement for an Ordinary Power of Attorney to be registered. A Lasting Power of Attorney is not a valid legal document unless it has been registered for use with the Office of the Public Guardian.

If you need Power of Attorney advice then call our team on 02920 404034 today.

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