7703634 s There are a number of different types of power of attorneys, but in simple terms, a power of attorney is a legal document whereby a person (the donor) grants legal authority to one or more other people to represent him or her either for general legal matters or in a restricted manner in terms of what types of matters they can act or for time periods or both. Subject to mental incapacity, it is important to understand that a power of attorney can be revoked by the donor and does not prevent the donor acting in his or her own name, notwithstanding they have also given certain power to others.
Types of power of attorneys
There are 2 main categories which are:
a) General power of attorney & Special power of attorney
A general power of attorney is commonly used in circumstances where the donor needs assistance over a short period of time, for example if abroad but with legal business and documents that need signing in his or her absence, or for limited tasks perhaps, such as selling or renting a particular property or for collecting a pension.. There is no need to register this type of power of attorney, it can be revoked with less formality and it will automatically become void if the donor becomes mentally incapacitated or has died.
b) Lasting power of attorney
This type of power of attorney is far more suitable for long terms situations, and as a safeguard, involves more formality and cost, but provides certainty, and is particularly relevant for elderly and/or infirm donors. There are 2 types, being:
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
This Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to choose someone to make decisions about how your property and financial affairs are managed. A Lasting Power of Attorney has no legal standing until it's registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare
This power of attorney allows you to choose someone to make decisions about your welfare and healthcare. It allows someone to make decisions about where you live, how you are cared for and what healthcare you receive; this can include specific decisions about treatments or more general decisions. These decisions can only be taken on your behalf when the Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and you lack the capacity to make the decisions yourself.