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General Powers of Attorney

John Gallagher from Argon Law discuses the in's and out's of General Powers of Attorney. If an individual can't or does not wish to sign certain documents, they can assign an Attorney or Attorneys to act on their behalf. Third parties are able to then rely on the signatures and actions of the attorneys as if they were their own. There are issues and risks involved in assigning power of attorney, John outlines ways to prevent such misuse as well as things to know before signing. 

Always ensure you seek professional advice for your specific circumstances, the above is intended to be general in nature.

More Information

If you own property, particularly as an active investor or developer, then there may be occasions when it would be convenient for you to authorise someone else to be able to execute documentation on your behalf in respect of your property.

The law does allow you to give such authority to someone else.

If you are expecting to be overseas or in a remote place or simply want to reduce the need for you to personally sign formal documentation, then you should consider executing a power of attorney.

Under such a document you can appoint one or more others to sign documents and take other actions in your name.

The person or persons you appoint are known as your attorneys and third parties are able to rely on the signatures and actions of those attorneys as if they were your own.

You can limit the attorney’s power as much as you like.  For example it may only authorise your attorney to sign only certain specified documents or documents relating only to specified property.

Powers of attorney are very powerful documents and obviously open to misuse, so it’s important to have implicit trust in the attorneys you appoint.  One way to reduce the risk of misuse is to appoint 2 or more attorneys jointly such that all the attorneys must act or sign on your behalf before the exercise of the power is effective.

There are many other things you should know about powers of attorney before you sign one.  For example, the document must follow a specified form and must be registered at the Qld titles office before the titles office will process any documents executed pursuant to it.

If you have any queries about powers of attorney, wills or property law then please contact us on 07 5443 9988 or [email protected].

Argon Law is a Sunshine Coast law firm based in Maroochydore.  We are commercial lawyers and property lawyers and are eager to assist you in any way we can.

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