Power of Attorney - What You Need to Know

Have you ever considered what might happen to your cash, home or financial affairs when you're older or if you become ill? Many people worry about what might occur if they end up being unable to handle their own financial resources. A Power of Attorney will allow you to prepare well in advance and have an effective plan in place should it be required.


What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives another person or persons, the authority to handle your finances and home for you. The person you select is called an "attorney" and the person agreeing to the power of attorney is referred to as the "donor". It is important to note that the attorney does not have to be a solicitor or legal representative, but can be relative or friend. Once the Power of Attorney has been set up and is notarised, the attorney can then act on the donor's behalf if you are missing, abroad or disabled through disease or illness. It's up to each donor to choose exactly what the power of attorney has authority over. It can be full power, without constraints, or provide minimal powers just to complete a certain task, for instance, to sell a home.



What can an Attorney Do?

In Ireland, we have two types of attorneys. 


An Ordinary Power of Attorney is a legal agreement authorising the attorney to manage your monetary affairs. It can be set up for a short term duration, for instance, you require somebody to act for you you're on holidays, or for only when you are able to monitor their actions. 


An Enduring Power of Attorney is a method of offering someone you trust the legal authority making choices in your place if you do not have the mental capability in the future. An Enduring Power of Attorney can be set up to help manage your finances if you are incapable of doing so or to make decisions about your healthcare.



How to Set Up a Power of Attorney?

The function of an attorney includes a large amount of power and obligation so it's of the utmost importance that you trust the person you've chosen as your attorney. Make sure that who choose an attorney that will have the ability to perform those tasks and make decisions that will be in your own best interests. Once you are happy with your choice and the attorney has agreed you will need to visit a solicitor to have the Power of Attorney agreement drawn up. This agreement will lay out all of the conditions, duties and time duration of the power of attorney. This agreement will then have to be notarised but a Notary Public to be recognised as a legal and authentic document.



If you require help setting up a Power of Attorney or would like more advice then contact the team at Hugh McGroddy Notary on 01 4404890 or at hmcgroddy@williamjbrennan.com

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