The person who grants power of attorney is referred to as the ‘principal’, who gives power to a lawyer or a person to act on their behalf. There are various services you can benefit from with Power of Attorney and various responsibilities a person can carry out when representing you.
You can discuss this with your lawyer, even if you are initially lost and don’t know which areas you need help with. Also, if you don’t know whom to give power to, you can discuss this with your lawyer who should be equipped to advise you.
You are the ‘principal’ and the one you give power of attorney to is the ‘agent’. So how do you choose an agent? What important factors do you need to consider when you choose the one to whom you give power of attorney?
Bear in mind that the person you choose to give power of attorney to, will be representing you, dealing with your business interests and making crucial decisions that sometimes involve your finances. That person will be acting as you. Your agent will be moving money, opening or closing bank accounts, having complete control of your assets.
It is stating the obvious but you need to not only completely trust that person, but you need to be confident that your agent will be completely equipped to carry out the responsibilities bestowed on them.
Often children are granted power of attorney, but this needs to be well thought out – is your child really trustworthy when it comes to money or assets and is your child up to the job? Also, weigh out the problematic area of signatures when naming more than one agent.
For instance, if you name 2 of your children to carry out power of attorney responsibilities, remember that both will need to be present to sign every document. Will this be practical? Will both be in agreement when it comes to making decisions in relation to business, finances, assets and your welfare?
If you would like to discuss these or any other issues relating to power of attorney, please give us a call for an informal confidential discussion. SG
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