Ordinary power of attorney—what should it contain?
Ordinary power of attorney—what should it contain?

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ordinary power of attorney—what should it contain?
  • Identity of the donor
  • Identity of the attorney
  • More than one attorney
  • Scope of authority
  • Delegation
  • Substitution
  • Duration
  • Revocation
  • Remuneration
  • More...

An ordinary power of attorney is a basic document that gives the attorney the power to deal with the donor’s financial affairs. It can be as wide reaching or as limited as the donor wishes. While some practitioners distinguish between a general or limited power of attorney as distinct types of ordinary powers of attorney, the term 'general power of attorney' is now often used to mean 'ordinary power of attorney'. An ordinary power of attorney will be automatically revoked by the mental incapacity of the donor and is distinguishable from an enduring power of attorney or a financial lasting power of attorney in this respect.

Powers of attorney are a form of agency but they differ from conventional commercial agencies in that they confirm to a third party that the attorney has power and the extent of that power, rather than governing the relationship between the principal and agent.

Ordinary powers of attorney are governed by the Powers of Attorney Act 1971 (PAA 1971) as to, for instance, their execution and revocability. However, in respect of some matters, such as capacity, the rules relating to the creation of a power of attorney can still be found in common law.

There are a number of issues that have to be satisfied before a power can be validly created.

Identity of the donor

When acting for the donor, check the

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