You may be familiar with the term Power of attorney, but you probably associate it with the elderly and vulnerable in society.
However, any of us could, at any time and at any age, find ourselves in a situation where we are unable to make financial decisions or health and welfare decisions ourselves.
When such a situation arises, a Power of attorney can be invaluable. There are two types of Power of attorney: a General power of attorney; and a Lasting power of attorney
A General Power of Attorney is the most straightforward Power of Attorney that you can make.
People normally only use this document for “one off events” and for a short period of time. For example, you may be in the middle of an important transaction but at the same time about to leave the country on holiday or on business. A general power of attorney will allow you to appoint somebody to sign documents on your behalf in your absence so that the transaction is not held up.
Once you are back from your travels, you should revoke the Power of attorney.
General powers of attorney should not be used where you intend the arrangement with your attorney to be a long standing one or you intend the arrangement to continue even if you were to lose your mental faculties. In these circumstances you should consider making a Lasting power of attorney.