General power of attorney

General power of attorney

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General power of attorney - Northern Ireland

A general power of attorney is ideally suited for situations where you need to give certain rights to another person or persons (your 'attorneys') to deal with your property for a limited time. This might be because you are going away on holiday or moving out of the country for a few years and need someone to manage your affairs while you are gone. This type is also known as an 'ordinary power of attorney'.

A general power of attorney can't be used in cases where you need someone to act on your behalf because you are mentally incapable of doing these tasks for yourself. If this is what you require, you can find more information in our 'Enduring power of attorney' section.

Why the document is useful

The general power of attorney would be useful if, for example, you are selling your home and the exchange of contracts is due to take place around the time when you will be away on holiday. Then, if there are problems while you are away on holiday - e.g. a last-minute amendment to what is included within the fixtures and fittings of the property - these amendments can be signed off by your attorney. Failure to have a power of attorney in place may mean that in this scenario you can't complete the paperwork in the proper form accepted by solicitors and Land Registry for a property sale even if you fully know and have agreed to all the amendments.

Revoking a general power of attorney

When you no longer want your power of attorney to be in force, you can revoke it with a deed of revocation. You can use our document 'Revocation of a general power of attorney' to do this.

Since a general power of attorney can't be used in instances where a person lacks the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf, if the person creating it loses capacity, it will automatically come to an end.

Other jurisdictions

This article contains information on general powers of attorney in Northern Ireland. If you are in Scotland, England or Wales, you can refer to our articles on general powers of attorney in Scotland or England & Wales as appropriate.