What is an Ordinary Power of Attorney: An Overview
What does an ordinary power of attorney do? What is the difference between an ordinary power of attorney and a lasting power of attorney? Do I need to register an ordinary power of attorney?
This article provides an overview of ordinary power of attorneys and explores the answers to all these questions, and more.
An ordinary power of attorney (‘OPA’), sometimes referred to a general power of attorney, is a legal document in which someone (the donor) gives another person (the attorney) the right to help them make decisions, or take decisions on their behalf.
An OPA is sometimes also called a general power of attorney. However, it is not to be confused with a lasting power of attorney (‘LPA’). For more information on LPAs, please click here.
An OPA can only be used if the donor has mental capacity.
This article provides a concise overview, covering the main topics concerning OPAs to help you know if you need one and how to make one.
Do I need an OPA?
An OPA is useful when it becomes temporarily difficult for the donor to manage their affairs, for example because they’re:
• recovering from an injury
• travelling abroad
The donor can limit the attorney’s powers under an OPA. For example, they can authorise them to only deal with their financial affairs. The donor can still make decisions for themselves if they want to.
How do you make an OPA?
There is no set way of making an OPA as there is no standard form to complete. But you must use the following wording:
“This General Power of Attorney is made this day of (X) by me [donor’s full name] of [address]. I appoint [attorney’s full name] of [address] [joint] / [jointly / jointly and severally] to be my attorney(s) in accordance with section 10 of the Powers of Attorney Act 1971.
“Signed by me as a deed and delivered.”
It is always recommended to seek legal assistance for reassurance when drafting a legal document. We can help give you that peace of mind and comfort.
Do you need to register an OPA?
Unlike some powers of attorney (such as LPAs), an OPA does not need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, and can be used as soon as the donor signs it.
How do you end an OPA?
An OPA can be ended if the donor:
• revokes it, using a deed of revocation
• loses mental capacity
If the donor is concerned that they could lose mental capacity in the near future, they can consider setting up a LPA for property and financial affairs. This lets the donor choose one or more attorneys to look after their property and finances in the instance they lose mental capacity.
How can we help?
An OPA covers decisions about your financial affairs and is valid while you have mental capacity. It is suitable if you need cover for a temporary period (such as a hospital stay or holiday) or if you find it hard to get out, or you want someone to act for you.
If you wish to appoint someone you trust to look after your finances for you in this way, then get in touch with our friendly team of professionals to get started.