Each one of us is actively and continuously engaged in the running of our affairs. Day in and day out – everyday of our lives. Take a leave but for one day and the dynamic process of what you have been doing will falter. We cannot go away for a holiday without arranging with someone to take over our affairs. To do this we must plan for holidays well ahead.
What will happen if I am disabled for a long time, or still worse permanently. When this happens someone has to take over everything you were doing – feed the cats and the dogs, water the trees, manage the property, and hundreds of other activities. There has to be someone in reserve to take over. Someone capable, and willing to continue to manage your affairs, to make decisions on your behalf as you would do if you could.
A pilot flying a passenger plane has a co pilot to take over the instant the chief pilot leaves the controls.
We, each one of us, needs someone to take over when the time comes. Illness, and old age are the most common causes of partial or complete incapacity, but there are other causes.
The person who takes over the running of your affairs is called an “Attorney”, which means “Legal Representative”. Unlike arranging with your neighbour to feed your cat and water your garden for a few days while you are away, appointing an attorney is a legal process.
A document is drawn up which authorises another person to act on your behalf. This document which is called “The Power of Attorney” is prepared by a legal practitioner, it would be unwise to do this on your own.
All arrangements with your attorney must be set out clearly and concisely in the Power of Attorney document, both to ensure that the attorney does exactly what you would do, and that the attorney does not abuse the position of trust.
It is usual that the appointed attorney is a close relative, who knows your affairs and has your trust. This need not be so, and it is not always the best solution.
No matter who your appointed attorney is, he or she has been legally appointed through the Power of Attorney, otherwise they cannot represent you.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document which gives your appointed Attorney the authority to deal with your financial, property and related legal matters while you are in full possession of your faculties, but ceases if you become mentally incapacitated.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Enduring Power of Attorney goes beyond the state of mental capacity, the appointed attorney has the legal authority to continue to act for you after you have become mentally incapacitated.
There are some subtle variations to each Power of Attorney which are best for individual personal requirements.
Sometimes two attorneys need to be appointed, and their interactions be set out in the Power of Attorney document. In practical circumstances it may be a wise precaution to appoint a legal firm to monitor and help the appointed attorney.
The Power of Attorney document should be prepared and signed by all parties as soon as possible.
It is then deposited and kept in safe keeping until the attorney nominated in the Power of Attorney is needed.
The attorney cannot act without being in possession of this document.
The Power of Attorney document is prepared and ready for being put into effect when the time comes. All preparations are made. It gives one a peace of mind.
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