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Updated and New Power of Attorney Templates

November 2022

What is a Power of Attorney used for?

A Power of Attorney can be used by a person, company or other organisation (the “grantor”) to authorize another to act for the grantor. It is a simple legal document under which the grantor gives another person (or several persons) the authority to carry out acts in the name and on the behalf of the grantor. An appointment of an attorney by a grantor can be framed so as to give general authority to act for the grantor (as far as the law allows) or to act for the grantor only in relation to a specified act or type/s of acts.

Power of Attorney Deed

A Power of Attorney is a form of agency created by executing (signing) a deed. A deed is similar to a contract, but there are differences which include the following. A deed has to be entirely in writing, whereas a contract can be verbal and written, a contract requires ‘consideration’ (i.e. something is given in return) but a deed does not, a deed must state in it that there is an intention to be a deed, and a deed involves more formalities to be completed when being drawn up compared to a simple contract, including requiring witnesses to its signature. 

It is possible in certain instances for a person or organization to appoint someone in a rather less formal manner to act for them but using a properly drafted power of attorney instead can help to remove legal doubts about whether someone is indeed fully and correctly authorised to act and about the precise scope of their legal authority to act. Whilst the legal formalities to be observed in order to ensure that a power of attorney is valid as a deed might be considered cumbersome and inconvenient, compliance with those formalities is recommended since it will remove such doubts. In any event, in certain situations or transactions (such as completion meetings for the sale or purchase of shares or the sale or purchase of real property) third parties and their legal advisers will insist on an attorney being appointed (i.e. by means of a deed) and may not accept instead the authority of a mere agent appointed in some other informal or less formal way.

New and Updated Templates

The existing Power of Attorney template documents have been reviewed and a number of new documents added, to provide the essential tools for dealing with several types of power of attorney. The Power of Attorney group of document templates now include forms of deed for appointing and revoking powers of attorney. There are also new forms of letter in this group of documents which can be used by the grantor, not only to notify the attorney when the grantor has revoked the power of attorney but also to notify interested third parties of that revocation. It is recommended that revocation should be notified in this way to ensure that both the attorney and those they deal with on behalf of the grantor are aware that the attorney’s authority has been terminated.

If you are not sure in any instance whether you should or must create a power of attorney document or as to what it should contain or how it must be validly created, you should take professional legal advice.   

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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