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General power of attorney

A general power attorney is a document that legally appoints an attorney to make legal and financial decisions for an individual. A general power of attorney is made to be effective for a specific period of time and for a specific purpose.

Most grantors authorize their attorney to the the following for their behalf:

  • Sell their property
  • Use their bank accounts
  • Pay their everyday expenses
  • Pay their mortgage and taxes
  • Make investment decisions
  • Run their businesses

The attorney can make decisions for an individual as soon as the power of attorney is signed and notarized. Only the grantor can change the start or end date. Like for example, a businessman can authorize his attorney to manage his business for a month while he is still on a vacation.

If ever a person made and signed a general power of attorney and loses the legal capacity later on, the document will be considered as null and void. The attorney's powers to make decisions on your behalf also stops when he resigns or if he dies. A grantor, you can change or cancel a power of attorney.

Appointing more than one decision-maker

A grantor can appoint more than one attorneys to make decisions for him. As a grantor you can ask them to make decisions through the following:

  • Jointly. This means that the attorneys have to come up with one decision; they must all agree and all of them must sign in the contract or any transaction they made for you.
  • Jointly and severally. This means that an attorney can make a decision for you without consulting the other attorneys. They can make decisions together or without the others.

The advantage of appointing more than one attorney to make financial decisions for a grantor will result in a more balanced outcome than hiring just one attorney. For example, a grantor or principal can appoint a trustworthy and reliable close friend or relative and an accountant who is good in making financial decisions. If these two act together, then they will make the best decisions for the grantor.

However, appointing attorneys jointly may result to a conflict among them and they will not be able to come to up with an agreement. The attorneys will need the court to resolve their disagreements. So appointing attorneys jointly and severally may prevent such problems in the future.



This forms and content on this website are for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on the information herein without consulting a licensed attorney.
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