The Power of Attorney Act was established into law in the U.K. in 1971. According to the act, you can appoint one individual or more to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. The act can be applied for specific purposes or fixed periods. The power of attorney begins as soon as you fill in a form provided under Schedule 1 of the act. When filling in the form you are required to specify the starting and ending dates. Section 10 of the Power of Attorney Act provides details on when and how this power is applied. The document can be used when you are in the United Kingdom and you require someone to handle your finances and assets.
According to Section 10 of the Power of Attorney Act, the document gives an attorney the right to carry out any action that is within the law. If you want to restrict the attorney’s actions to specific areas, you can get limited power of attorney. It is possible to appoint more than one attorney to act on your behalf when you are not available. When you choose more than one individual, they can choose to act together, action which is referred to as "joint." The attorneys you appoint can also act independent of each other and this is referred to as "joint and several."
If you jointly own a piece of property with another person or group, it is not appropriate to get a Power of Attorney. The document is not valid if the property is jointly owned. If you are leaving the country and require an individual to act on your behalf regarding a jointly owned piece of property, it is advisable to consider other options.
Loss of Capacity
When you lose capacity as a donor or person offering the power to handle legal and financial matters, a Power of Attorney cannot be used. This applies when you lose capacity as a result of an accident or illness. The Power of Attorney ends as soon as you lose capacity as a donor.
An attorney has certain legal restrictions when he is using his Power of Attorney. An attorney is not allowed to use the power for personal benefit unless a donor allows it. Section 10 of the Power of Attorney Act does not apply in situations where a donor is a personal representative, trustee, statutory owner or tenant for life on a particular piece of property.