Do you have a power of attorney? | HK Wealth

Do you have a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document which allows you to plan for the future. It’s drawn up when you have the capacity to do so.Do you have a power of attorney? 

It gives another person, known as the attorney, the authority to deal with aspects of your affairs. This could relate to financial/property matters and/or personal welfare.

Types of power of attorney

There are two types of power of attorney:

  • Power of attorney relating to your financial/property affairs is known as a ‘continuing power of attorney’ and may be given with the intention of taking effect immediately and continuing on you becoming incapable. Or you can decide you only want it to begin if you become incapable.
  • Welfare power of attorney allows someone you have appointed to make welfare decisions for you, and these powers cannot be exercised until such time as you have lost the capacity to make these decisions.

The power of attorney document must be certified by a solicitor or a medical practitioner. They must interview the person granting the power of attorney before they sign the document. This is to make sure they’re aware of what they’re doing and are not under undue influence.

Powers of attorney – those which are to continue or begin in the event of incapacity – cannot take effect until they’ve been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

You can decide you only want it to begin if you become incapable, and can specify how you want your incapacity to be determined.

Why you might need power of attorney

Without a power of attorney, nobody has an automatic right to make decisions on your behalf if you can no longer do so yourself. Someone might have to go to court for a guardianship or intervention order before they could act on your behalf

Setting up a power of attorney

You can draw up this document yourself, but most people use a solicitor so nothing is missed.

If you write the document yourself, it’s important you refer to guidance to make sure your document gives your attorneys the necessary powers they may need to make decisions on your behalf.

Read the code of practice for continuing and welfare attorneys. Chapter 2 – Creating a Power of Attorney – takes you through a list of the types of ‘powers’ you might want to include in the document and other key points to think about.

There is advice available, for example from the Office of the Public Guardian.

A solicitor or medical doctor must interview you and sign your document to show you understand the decision you are making.

Once drawn up, your power of attorney document must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. This should be sent along with a registration form which the attorney must sign to confirm they’re willing to act. There’s a fee to register a power of attorney with them, which everybody has to pay.


If this blog has raised any questions why don't we have a quick chat?

Garry Hale
Garry Hale
MD & Certified Financial Planner

A brief meeting might be of interest, especially if you’re unsure just how wealth management and financial planning could help you.

It would only require the investment of an hour or so of your time, and the coffee’s not bad either.