A general non-enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person or people (the attorney/s) to make decisions on behalf of another person (the principle). Unlike an enduring power of attorney, a general power of attorney will often only operate for a fixed period of time.
The attorney will be responsible for making decisions in relation the principle’s financial matters. This can include legal matters relating to the principle’s property and finances.
The principle may limit the powers of an attorney. However, without conditions, the attorney will have the power to make all decisions relating to the principle’s financial affairs.
Generally, a principle will only appoint a person for a specified period of time such as when they are overseas. The principle may also specify when the power will commence or can request it to begin when they sign the documents.
A principle may revoke a power of attorney at any time. However if the principle no longer has decision making capacity, the power is revoked automatically.
Who to Appoint
A person can be appointed attorney provided they:
- are 18 years of age or over; and
- have decision making capacity
More than One Attorney
A person may appoint more than one who may act:
- Jointly where they decide on all matters together; or
- Severally where they decide on matters independently.
If the principle does not specify whether the attorneys should act jointly or severally, it will be assumed that they have been appointed to act jointly.