As we people are made to make our own decisions about major personal issues, for example how we handle our money, organizes our everyday lives and how we see our lives evolving. But one day we may face a situation in which we are no longer able to make a decision, perhaps as a result of an accident or illness. If this happens, then someone else must make decisions for us.
What is a Powers Of Attorney?
Powers Of Attorney appoints a person you trust to act on your behalf if you become unable to make rational decisions and, as a result, are unable to act in a legal sense. Powers Of Attorney may be conferred on an individual or legal entity such as a bank or institution. You may also, as the donor, designate a substitution. The original attorney must ultimately deny or terminate the power of attorney.
The Powers Of Attorney can be broad, including personal assistance, representation in financial matters and legal matters. It can also be restricted to specific areas or responsibilities. The power of attorney may be directly accompanied by instructions on the manner in which the attorney should carry out the functions.
In What Form Should A Powers Of Attorney Be Valid?
To write a Powers Of Attorney, you must have the right to act, which means reaching the majority of one and being able to make rational decisions. The power of attorney must be holographic (i.e. fully handwritten, and dated and signed by the donor) or officially recorded by a notary.
The form of Powers Of Attorney is similar to will. Such rigidity is required due to the enormous impact arising from this document. The rules are intended to prevent an elderly person from signing a document prepared by an outside party without understanding its contents.
If the person cannot write it himself, it must be attested and certified by the notary. It is recommended to seek legal advice in the face of complex financial and family situations.
Why do I need a Powers Of Attorney?
The Powers Of Attorney can be used to specify which task to assign. Spouses or civil partners do not require power of attorney for basic assistance (such as medical decisions) or legal transactions (such as payment or insurance coverage) because they are automatically empowered to make that type of decision. For extraordinary rulings in relation to property, however, even the spouse or civil partner would require a power of attorney, e.g. buying or selling home, business or investment securities.
You Will Need Power Of Attorney If:
- You want your spouse or civil partner to represent you in legal matters involving decisions related to extraordinary property. If no power of attorney has been established, authorization must be obtained from the Cantonal Adult Protection Authority
- If you want to authorize someone other than your spouse or civil partner who represents you
- If you are living with someone, are widowed and do not desire curator ship
What is the Difference Relative to the Signatory Authority?
If a person is still capable of making rational decisions, but cannot physically manage their affairs, a signing authority is the best course of action. Banks, post offices, insurers, state pension authorities (AHV / AVS), health insurance insurers and tax authorities all have their own forms to enable this. Thus, even though a person may be affected by a gradual loss of physical and mental aptitude, they may act at their own will for as long as possible.
How to Write A Powers Of Attorney?
The Powers Of Attorney should describe as accurately as possible the tasks assigned to the designated person. The compensation payable to the individual or legal entity should also be detailed, especially if a bank or any other institution is being appointed.
It is possible to name more than one lawyer, in the event that the first on the list is not able to assume this role.
To make things easier, we have prepared a Powers Of Attorney template, which can be consulted here.
When Does The Powers Of Attorney Apply?
Authorities will first verify the power of attorney for the protection of adults and minors. They investigate whether this is formally correct, whether the person concerned is actually unable to give rational consideration and whether the lawyer is capable of fulfilling the role. Only once this review is completed can the Powers of Attorney be effective.