A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person to assign another to act on their behalf. This person is known as the donor. The donor will see a solicitor to draft an arrangement by assigning an individual or multiple people to act on their behalf under certain circumstances, these people will be known as attorneys. The Donor can also choose a company or solicitor to act on their behalf. Once this has been agreed this will become the power of attorney.
Why assign an attorney?
There are a couple of reasons on why the donor might want to assign an attorney;-
One could be due to them not having mental or physical capacity. They may be advised or feel that they are becoming vulnerable or not able to make the best decisions for themselves meaning that they trust another to do this for them. In addition they may not be physically able as they may not be able to attend places or speak when required.
Another reason could be that the donor does not have the time to deal with the situation or be able to attend when required. This could be due to work commitments or even living in another country. Again they would put into place a power of attorney to allow someone they trust to act on their behalf.
For us as a firm we must ensure that we see the original or certified power of attorney before we proceed, the power of attorney must be certified on every page. This applies whether we act on behalf of a transaction with a power of attorney or if the other side are acting for a power of attorney.
We must also ensure that any proceeds are to return or be paid into the donors account and not the attorneys. This is still the donor’s money. There are some bank accounts that will state the attorneys name but will state acting as attorney on behalf of the donor. This is still the donor’s account and we are fine to send money to this account for the donor.
The Land Registry will also require a copy of this upon completion for registration purpose. It will provide evidence that the attorney has authority to sign on behalf of the donor.
The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.