An Ordinary Power of Attorney is a document whereby a Donor (the person creating the Power of Attorney) gives one or more persons (their Attorney(s) the legal authority to act on their behalf in relation to their financial affairs.
The granting of a general power of attorney does not deprive the Donor of the ability to act for themselves. The Donor can, for example, sign cheques concurrently with the Attorney(s).
An Ordinary Power of Attorney is usually created for a set period of time, perhaps because the Donor is going abroad or is unable to act for some other reason such as physical incapacity.
The authority granted by the power can be general or it can be limited to specific matters.
A General Power
An Attorney acting with a general power is able to deal with all of the Donor's personal affairs and this will include the right to make unrestricted gifts on their behalf.
A Specific Power
An Attorney acting with specific powers will be restricted to acting in specific circumstances which could include:
• Dealing with a house purchase or sale while the owner is abroad.
• Operating a Bank Account for a sick or disabled relative.
• Actively managing a share portfolio.
• Enabling Mortgage Lenders to deal with a Life Assurance Policy, lodged with them by way of security, for loan repayment.
• Making restricted gifts.
Powers that cannot be delegated to an Attorney
There are certain powers that a Donor cannot confer on their Attorney such as:
• Acting as a Trustee on behalf of the Donor.
• Signing the Donor's Will.
• Acts which they must do personally e.g. appearing in Court as a witness in the Donor's place.
• Taking over the Donor's role as a Life Tenant of a Trust.