Power of Attorney for England

General Power of Attorney

This General Power Of Attorney is made this _____ of _________ ________ by _____________ ("Donor") of _____________, _____________, _____________.

IN WITNESS whereof I have here unto set my hand the day and year first above written.

Instructions for Your Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a highly useful tool for providing trusted confidantes the power to conduct personal business on a donor's behalf. Whether the donor is moving abroad for a while or becomes incapacitated, the power of attorney allows the donor to be secure in the knowledge that his or her personal affairs will be well managed.

In the power of attorney, the person giving authority is known as the donor, whilst the person who exercises this authority is known is the attorney, also known as a donee. It is critical that the donor has absolute confidence in the selected attorney as the attorney will be acting on the donor's behalf in the full legal sense. This means that the donor is both bound and liable for all actions taken by the attorney in the donor's name.

General Powers of Attorney

The rules that govern a power of attorney come from a piece of legislation called the Powers of Attorney Act 1971. This act gives an appointed attorney the right to conduct general business through the use of a power of attorney. These powers extend to both financial and legal affairs. However, there are certain responsibilities that an attorney cannot perform. For example, an attorney cannot perform a donor's responsibilities as a trustee. In the event that a donor only needs an attorney's aid in regard to one matter, the powers granted can be limited to the specific undertaking or occasion that the attorney is needed. It is important to note that a power of attorney is only applicable as long as the donor has mental capacity. If during the duration of the power of attorney the donor loses mental capacity, the attorney's powers will automatically cease. This can be a significant consideration when the donor is either elderly or gravely ill.

Time Restrictions

It is possible to restrict the duration of the power of attorney by specifying a date on which the powers will cease. If a date is not specified, the power of attorney will automatically cease one year from the effective date. At that point, it is possible to renew the power of attorney; however, a power of attorney can never last for longer than a year.

Multiple Attorneys

In the event that the donor appoints multiple attorneys, it is important to decide whether or not the attorneys will act "jointly" or "jointly and severally". If power is given jointly and severally, then both attorneys have the freedom to act completely independently of each other.

When the attorneys are required to act jointly, however, then they must act together and in agreement in all their undertakings. In practice, what this means is that all documents must be co-signed by both attorneys, and all payments must be approved and signed jointly.

Although this option offers the greatest protection to the donor, it can sometimes also be a hindrance to the execution to the donor's powers. For example, if one of the attorneys becomes ill, is abroad or simply cannot see to the donor's affairs, the other attorney will be unable to execute their powers as attorney.

Execution and Witnessing

First of all, the donor, or the person signing on behalf of the Donor, must date the first line of the document by hand by entering the day in the first space provided followed by the month and year. The month should be written in full.

If the donor has the physical and mental capacity to sign, the document should be signed by the donor in the presence of a single witness. This witness should not be an attorney and preferably not a relative of the donor. When the donor lacks capacity to sign, then someone must be selected to sign for the donor, and the donor's signature must be witnessed by two non-related witnesses.

Note: This document may only be used in England and Wales.

Please note that the language you see here changes depending on your answers to the document questionnaire.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is used to give another person the power to carry out your affairs or make decisions on your behalf. Whether you are abroad or injured, a power of attorney will help you give trusted family and friends the ability to handle your financial, property and business affairs. LegalNature allows you to create an ordinary power of attorney or prepare the forms for a lasting power of attorney.

Save money and time by cutting out the need for a solicitor. With LegalNature’s online form builder you can easily tailor your power of attorney to your specific needs. LegalNature's advanced form-building technology will guide you through every step of the way, providing instructions where needed and giving you confidence in your document.

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user guide icon Help Guide

A power of attorney is a document that is drawn up when you (the 'Donor') appoint someone (the 'Attorney') to handle your affairs when you are unable to do so yourself. It is a way of being sure that the attorney you entrust to be in charge of all your affairs—ranging from paying bills to managing bank accounts—is formally appointed.

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It is recommended that you discuss your power of attorney with your attorneys and any others named in the document. Doing so will help ensure that your wishes are clearly communicated and understood at the time of signing.

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