If you have a complicated estate and are involved in a variety of different dynamic ventures, you will want to ensure that you protect your assets at all times. You will also want to look out for the interests of your dependents and ensure that they are well cared for should you meet an early demise. To achieve all of this, you may need a variety of legal professionals on your side and may need to think about appointing a power of attorney to handle some of the legal affairs. But you need to be very careful with your choice when setting it all up, so how do you determine the actual powers of the POA?


If you are very busy at work and want to devote your spare time to leisure, you may be protective of your time. You will want to employ experts to make some legal or financial decisions for you, based on parameters that you may set down. In this case, you can allocate somebody to be a general power of attorney, based on the stipulations that you set down in a legally binding document. This type of appointment will last for a set amount of time and allows them to make such decisions on your behalf, even though you have the capacity to do so yourself. It's important to remember here, however, that these legal powers automatically run out if you lose your mental capacity for one reason or another.


If you're worried about losing your mental capacity to make decisions, then you need to think about an enduring power of attorney instead. This will permit the person to make legal or financial decisions for you if you do not have the capacity to do so yourself. This means that they can help to protect your estate if you are diagnosed with mental deficiency, although the actual powers are strictly defined. They cannot, for example, make any decisions related to your ongoing medical or personal affairs.

Appointing the Attorney

You need to be very careful when you appoint somebody to either of these roles. While they don't have to be a legal professional, this is nevertheless a good place to start, and you should talk with a solicitor first to see what they can suggest. Just remember, a power of attorney is not allowed to create or change your will, so you will have to take care of that particular document yourself.

To get help with estate planning, talk to a lawyer in your area.