How Does General Power Of Attorney Work?
A general power of attorney (GPA) exists where one signs a document appointing an agent to make decisions and act on their behalf. It applies in situations where you become incapacitated, and, therefore, unable to execute some of your issues of concern.
Do you really need to sign a general power of attorney?
Just about everyone requires having an ordinary power of attorney. Who knows? You might just become mentally incapacitated and end up requiring someone to act on your behalf.
Without a power of attorney, a family member or other interested parties will need an application to the court of protection to be made, to ensure your financial affairs can be dealt with. The court will then have to appoint someone to act on your behalf as well as be your guardian. That is likely to take a lot of time and money and the guardian can only act under the supervision of the court.
That is enough reason for you to consider creating an ordinary power of attorney when you still can pick your agent.
The structure of a general power of attorney
With a GPA, you aim to give to your agent the broadest possible authority since you cannot tell what he or she will need to do for you while incapacitated. You may, however, want to grant special power of attorney including signing tax returns, managing investments, paying bills, writing cheques or opening or closing safe deposit boxes.
If you hope to authorize someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, an ordinary power of attorney is not the best option. Instead, you can use a separate document in terms of a living will and healthcare power of attorney.
When and why is a general power of attorney effective?
Did you know that ordinary power of attorney can become operational as soon as you finish appending your signature? With that, your agent can represent you even though you are not yet incapacitated.