A General Power of Attorney is a statutory form enabling you to authorise someone else to act on your behalf and in your name.
It applies only to your property and affairs and it cannot be used to authorise someone to make decisions concerning your personal welfare.
Drawing up a General Power of Attorney is easy to do as it’s a very straightforward document to complete.
Plus it does not need endorsing or countersigning by a solicitor to be effective.
Simply download Lawpack’s solicitor-approved General Power of Attorney form today and get started.
Here are our top tips on how to complete the General Power of Attorney form:
1. Start date
The Power begins on the date that the document is signed.
A General Power remains valid until it’s revoked, but it will be automatically annulled if you become incapable of making the decisions conferred by the Power.
Powers can be revoked orally, but to avoid misunderstanding it’s wise to write ‘cancelled’ on the original form or simply tear it up.
The General Power would also be revoked if you or the person you are giving the Power to dies or becomes bankrupt.
2. The ‘Donor’
The person who makes the Power and grants authority is called the ‘Donor’.
Only one person may make a General Power.
You must be over 18, have capacity to grant the Power and not be an undischarged or interim bankrupt.
3. The ‘Attorney’
The ‘Attorney’ is the person you are giving the Power to. Due to the extent of the Power, you should only give it to somebody that you trust implicitly.
Anyone over 18, of sound mind and not an undischarged or interim bankrupt may act as an Attorney.
You can appoint one or more Attorneys.
If you are appointing more than one Attorney, they may be appointed ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’.
If you appoint your Attorneys to act jointly, it means that they must all make any decision together.
If you appoint your Attorneys to act jointly and severally, this means they can make their decisions together but may also make their decisions separate from one another and need not consult each other about those decisions.
You should sign the General Power in front of a witness.
A witness should sign the General Power. The Attorney cannot act as a witness, but otherwise there are no restrictions on who may be a witness.
There is no requirement as to who should witness the power of attorney. There is no requirement that it be witnessed by a solicitor and the form is still effective if it is not.
Once the General Power of Attorney is granted, the Attorney has full legal authority to take decisions and actions on your behalf in relation to your property and affairs, as if you were taking them yourself.
You remain liable for the actions of the Attorney.