Power of Attorney
A “Power of Attorney” is a legal instrument whereby one person gives another person the authority to act on his/her behalf as his legal representative and to make binding legal and financial decisions on his/her behalf. Technically, Power of Attorney is defined extensively as “an authority whereby one is set in the stead or place of another to act for him”.
- A person need not be a lawyer to hold a Power of Attorney as an Agent for someone else.
- The Power of Attorney can grant considerable powers to third party to act on your behalf.
- Before you sign your name to legal contracts, you should give careful
consideration to the person to whom you choose to grant those powers, and
whether any time limits should be imposed.
- Granting a Power of Attorney is a legal process that involves the drafting of a document which assigns to another person the power to act as your legal representative.
- The lack of properly drafted and executed Power of Attorney can lead to a lot of complications when an individual is incapacitated due to severe illness or injury rendering him/her, unable to travel, unable to make decisions or manage financial and medical affairs.
- Due to ignorance of law, people fail to make a proper Power of Attorney.
- It is preferable that one should make a Power of Attorney to avoid the
inconvenience and expense of legal proceedings.
- Power of Attorney should be made while the Principal is competent, alert and aware of the consequences of his/her decision.
- The Power of Attorney can be effective immediately upon signing or only upon disability.
- The person who empowers is the Principal and the person to whom the power is conferred is the Agent.
Type of power of attorney
There are two types of Power of Attorney; “General” and “Special” (or limited).
General Power of Attorney:
- The Principal empowers the Agent with the right to carry out all legal acts on his behalf without restricting it to a particular transaction or act.
- Gives the Agent very broad powers to act on behalf of the Principal
Special Power of Attorney:
- The authority is restricted to act only on certain matters or only a particular kind of transaction or to carry out a specific legal transaction for the Principal.
- The Agent’s Power of Attorney expires on the completion of the transaction.