A power of attorney is a legal document that authorises another person (agent) to act on behalf of the person who created the power of attorney (principle), in the event that the principle cannot make the decision themselves. A person may not be able to make decisions themselves due to injury or disease such as Alzheimer’s. In this instance a power of attorney is needed so there is someone competent to make important decisions for them.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney authorises one specific person to act on behalf of the principle when the principle is unable to make decisions for themselves. The general power of attorney does not restrict the decisions the agent can take. Decision can include
- Financial – e.g. tax
- Business related
The only restriction is that an agent holding a general power of attorney cannot make real estate decisions. The general power of attorney is irrevocable and the principle must abide by all the decisions of the agent.
Special Power of Attorney
The special power of attorney is a mirror image of the general power of attorney, except for one important difference. Where the general power of attorney allows the agent to act in a number of different areas, the special power of attorney is restricted to real estate only.