A Power of Attorney is a document that appoints another person, called an “Attorney”, to deal with your business and property and to make financial and legal decisions for you. This might include paying bills, depositing or withdrawing money from your bank account, investing your money or selling your house. It can be very specific, granting your Attorney power to deal with a specific task such as selling a certain piece of property. It can also be very general, giving your Attorney the power to do anything that you could do on your own. A Power of Attorney can be useful if:
- You are physically unable to look after your own affairs;
- You are going to be out of the country and you need someone to look after your affairs while you are away;
- You suddenly become mentally incapable due to illness, disease or accident;
- You look for a simple and inexpensive way to plan ahead and choose the person who will help you with your finances.
Among other requirements, you must be mentally capable at the time you sign any type of power of attorney for it to be valid. In general, to be mentally capable means that you are able to understand and appreciate financial and legal decisions and understand the consequences of making these decisions.