A Power of Attorney (“POA”) is a document which allows a person to nominate others to act on his/her behalf and in his/her name. They are mainly used in two sets of circumstances – firstly when a person will be unavailable to sign documents at a crucial time, for instance when the person is due to complete on the sale or purchase of a house and is out of the country, and secondly when a person is worried about losing mental capacity and not able to manage his/her affairs.
In the first case, you would normally use what is called a general power of attorney. This would specify who is to be appointed and what he/she is authorised to do.
In the second case, where there is a risk of mental incapacity, the person giving the power, must execute an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”). The main difference being that a POA will end if the Donor should become mentally incapable whereas an EPA will continue to be effective.
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