The Difference between a General & Enduring Power of Attorney

You have probably heard of the term Power of Attorney before, and you may even have a small understanding of what they do. You may know that your Attorney can make decisions for you and to act on your behalf. But did you know that there are two types of Attorney, and there are some major differences between their roles and abilities.


General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney lets you select someone to act for you while you have the capacity to manage your own affairs. The POA gives your chosen person the ability to make decisions on particular aspects of your financial matters, for example, the sale of a house, and is set up so that they can in this purpose only. This can be useful in many cases where you may have multiple business deals to take care of or are travelling for extended periods of time etc.

The POA lasts until you withdraw it. Power can be withdrawn from the Attorney at any time and if you become mentally incapable, declare bankruptcy, or enter into a marriage or civil partnership then it is automatically withdrawn.


Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney appoints one person, or multiple people, to handle your affairs in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. The Attorney will have the ability to make decisions regarding your finances and personal care. Any decision made must be in your best interest and in accordance with what you would have been likely to do.

An EPA will only come into effect on your Doctor or medical team have confirmed that you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself. As such creating an EPA allows you to effectively plan for the future, and ensure that you chosen Attorneys are aware ahead of time of their duties and your wishes for how they should act.



Setting up a Power of Attorney

To set up either a General or Enduring Power of Attorney you must have the legal and mental capacity to do so. In either case, your chosen Attorneys will have a lot of obligations and control over your future so make sure you choose somebody you can trust and that they have the ability to carry out the tasks being asked of them.

In order to set up a POA or EPA you will need to visit a solicitor to have an agreement drawn up and notarised. This agreement will lay out all the conditions, terms, and duties of your Attorney. Once the document is notarised is a legal and authentic document.



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