Power of Attorney – Why you need one? By Athulya - January 30, 2019 Last Updated at: Jul 25, 2020 4492 Power of Attorney - Why you need one The Honorable President of India has approved the 2018 Registration Bill (Gujarat Amendment), which aims to prevent the exploitation of the power of attorney for fraud. Consequently, the state government has advised, enforced and made compulsory the registration of the powers of attorney in the state. The Tamil Nadu registration department has tightened the noose around relators using power of attorney (POA) for fraudulent land deals. Power of attorney authorizes a person to carry out transactions or act legally on behalf of another. Power of attorney is a legal document which allows a person to appoint another entity or person to act on their behalf to manage their affairs. The person who initiates the power of attorney is called as the principal and the person who is granted the authority over the affairs is known as the attorney-in-fact. A power of attorney is in effect only when the principal is alive and it can only be legislated by a principal who is competent mentally. One may think that once they appoint a durable power of attorney they will lose control of the decision making and how their assets are used. This is not correct and the power of attorney only steps in if the person is no longer mentally capable of running the legal, personal and financial affairs. Register Your New Property Main Roles of a Power of Attorney (1) Making decisions related to medical on behalf of the principal (2) Handling legal and financial matters on behalf of the principal (3) Decision making on behalf of someone who has lost their mental capacity Medical decisions for the principal can be taken when the individual has become incapable to make the required decisions for themselves due to their incapacitation. This can also be called as an advanced care directive and it grants the authority to the attorney-in-fact to make the required medical decisions for the principal. It does not grant any other powers or authority to the attorney-in-fact other than managing the healthcare needs of the principal. An attorney-in-fact is appointed to handle the affairs of someone who has become mentally not capable and also to act on the behalf of someone to handle the transactions. If an individual does not have enough knowledge to manage a certain legal or financial matter, they can appoint an agent to handle that required transaction on their behalf. A power of attorney template can be generated for many reasons such as signing contracts, buying and selling of stocks and bonds, paying bills, managing real estate and just about any kind of matter that an individual wishes to delegate to an agent. Flexibility of a Power of Attorney A power of attorney has mostly been thought of as an instrument that is used to administer a person’s affairs only when that person becomes mentally incapable or is not able to manage their own interests effectively. Many people have a belief that the power of attorney is mainly used as a last resort when people are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. The truth is that a printable power of attorney is a very flexible legal instrument that can be used in many different scenarios to assist the people in both day-to-day affairs and complex legal arrangements. A power of attorney, while still a serious instrument for managing the affairs and estate of mentally incapable loved ones, has also evolved into a useful mechanism that allows people to grant the authority to professionals with expert skills, who can represent them in legal, business and financial arenas that require specific knowledge the person might not have. This gives a chance to people to level the playing field when it comes to dealing with larger institutions that have paid the professional staff dedicated to acting on their behalf. To know about the differences between general and special power of attorney, read an article here.