Power of attorney FAQs

Power of attorney is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your Power of Attorney.

When you complete the legal documents called “power of attorney,” you give another person the authority to handle your personal business and make decisions on your behalf. A person creates the power of attorney for use when he is incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle his own affairs.

A durable power of attorney states that it is effective in the event the principal later becomes mentally incapacitated and is unable to manage her affairs. If the principal is not living, you will not be allowed to sign documents with the power of attorney.

Your spouse does not automatically have your power of attorney over shares that is in your name only. A power of attorney will define what the agent can do on your behalf, and in what circumstances.

If power of attorney has a specific expiration date, or the principal revokes it in writing, or an event occurs that terminates it under the law, it should remain in effect until the death of the principal.