Ordinary Power of Attorney covers decisions about your financial affairs and is legally binding while you have mental capacity. It is appropriate if you need cover for a temporary period such as (hospital stay or holiday) or if you find it hard to leave the house.
If you would like someone to take care of your financial affairs for a longer period of time, a person can be granted ordinary power of attorney under certain circumstances. These include:
- Physical illnesses
- After an accident that lead to physical injury
- If you are abroad for an extended period
Under what circumstance should I not use an ordinary power of attorney?
Certain circumstances where you should not use ordinary power of attorney include:
- You have been diagnosed with a mental health condition or a disease which could lead to mental incapacity
- You think you may be at risk of developing a mental health condition or a disease which could lead to mental incapacity
- This is because you will not be able to continue using the ordinary power of attorney if you do lose your mental capacity.
In these situations, it is often more appropriate to make a lasting power of attorney instead.
How do I grant ordinary power of attorney?
JMR Solicitors can help you to make you ordinary power of attorney, whether you wish to grant a person power to handle all your financial affairs or only certain powers such as opening a bank account. It is vital that the attorney is clear about what they can and cannot do, so you should seek professional legal advice from the outset.
How should I sign my Ordinary Power of Attorney document?
To be legally valid, you must sign the document with your usual cheque signing signature. You should also initial each page of the document. The signing and the initialling of the pages must occur in the presence of your notary or witness. After you have signed and initialled your document in front of your notary or witness, your notary or witnesses must sign on the appropriate page of the Power of Attorney and should initial each page. This must happen in your presence.
How do you register for an Ordinary Power of Attorney? (OPA)
An OPA, unlike other powers of attorney, does not need to be registered with the
Office of the Public Guardian and can be used immediately after the donor signs it.
How do you end an Ordinary Power of Attorney?
An OPA is terminated if the donor:
revokes it with a revocation deed
loses mental capacity
If the donor is concerned about losing mental capacity in the near future, they should
consider establishing a lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs.
This allows the donor to appoint one or more attorneys to manage their property and
finances if they lose mental capacity.
Under which circumstances may I consider an Ordinary Power of Attorney?
You may want to contemplate an Ordinary Power of Attorney if you:
• are going overseas for an extended period of time;
• are going into hospital or are unable to manage your finances due to illness or
• you’d like someone else to handle a specific financial matter, such as selling your
For advice and help with an Ordinary Power of Attorney, don’t hesitate to contact the JMR office to speak to our Power of Attorney Specialist.