Power of Attorney for Buying Property
A Power of Attorney or in Turkish (Vekalet) is a document where one person confers on another the right to act on his/her behalf and in that respect the attorney can act just as though he or she were the donor of the power. This power can be used to operate bank accounts or to sign documents or deeds.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that is used to delegate legal authority to another. The person who signs (executes) a Power of Attorney is called the Principal. The Power of Attorney gives legal authority to another person (called a Representative or Attorney-in-Fact) to make property, financial and other legal decisions for the Principal.
A Principal can give a Representative broad legal authority, or very limited authority. The Power of Attorney is frequently used to help in the event of a Principal's illness or disability or in legal transactions where the principal cannot be present to sign necessary legal documents.
Are there different types of Powers of Attorney?
There are two types of Power Of Attorney "Non-durable and "Durable". A "Non-durable" Power of Attorney takes effect immediately. It remains in effect until it is revoked by the Principal or until the Principal becomes mentally incompetent or dies.
A "Non-durable" Power of Attorney is often used for a specific transaction, like the closing on the sale of property, or the handling of the Principal's financial affairs while the Principal is travelling outside of the country.
A "Durable" Power of Attorney enables the Representative to act for the Principal even after the Principal is not mentally competent or physically able to make decisions. The "Durable" Power of Attorney may be used immediately, and is effective until it is revoked by the Principal, or until the Principal's death.
What kinds of legal authority can be granted with a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney can be used to grant any, or all, of the following legal powers to a Representative: Buy or sell property, manage your property, arranging banking transactions, Invest or not to invest your money, making legal claims and conduct litigation, attend to tax and retirement matters, making gifts on your behalf.
How do I select a Representative for a Power of Attorney?
It is your choice on who you choose but choosing a trusted family member, a proven friend, or a professional with an outstanding reputation for honesty is a good idea. Remember, signing a Power of Attorney that grants broad authority to a Representative is very much like signing a blank cheque.
Certainly, you should never give a Power of Attorney to someone you do not trust fully. You should also never be forced into signing a Power of Attorney.
Can I appoint more than one Representative in a Power of Attorney
You may appoint multiple representatives if you wish. If you appoint two or more representatives, you must decide whether they must act together in making decisions involving your affairs, or whether each can act separately.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both forms of appointment. Requiring your representatives to act jointly can safeguard the soundness of their decisions. On the other hand, requiring agreement of all your chosen representatives can result in delay or inaction in the event of a disagreement between them, or the unavailability of one of them to sign legal documents. Allowing your Representatives to act separately may ensure that a representative is always available to act for you. But it may also result in confusion and disagreements if the representatives do not communicate with one another, or if one of them believes that the other is not acting in your best interests. Powers of Attorney are only as good as the representatives who are appointed. Appointing a trustworthy person as your representative is critical. Without a trustworthy representative, a Power of Attorney becomes a dangerous legal instrument, and a threat to the principal's best interests.
Once I sign a Power of Attorney, may I continue to make legal and financial decisions?
The person named in a Power of Attorney is your representative, not your "boss." As long as you have the legal capacity to make decisions, you can direct your representative to do only those things that you want done.
What are a Representative's obligations to a Principal?
The representative is obligated to act in the best interests of the principal, and to avoid any "self-dealing." Self-dealing is acting to further the selfish interests of the representative, rather than the best interest of the principal.
A representative appointed in a Power of Attorney is a fiduciary, with strict standards of honesty, loyalty and candour to the principal. A representative must safeguard the principal's property, and keep it separate from the representative's personal property. Money should be kept in a separate bank account for the benefit of the principal. Representatives must also keep accurate financial records of their activities, and provide complete and periodic accountings for all money and property
coming into their possession. Make sure your Representative is clear that you want accurate records of all transactions completed for you, and to give you periodic accountings. You can also direct your
representative to provide an accounting to a third party-a member of your family or trusted friend-in the event you are unable to review the accounting yourself.
Is it possible for a representative to steal my money and property?
Depending on the power that has been appointed to the representative a Power of Attorney can be abused. Dishonest representatives have used Powers of Attorney to transfer the principal's assets to themselves and others. If the clauses are restricted to purchases only by doing so the representative can only purchase goods in your name but will not be able to sell. That is why it is so important to appoint a representative who is completely trustworthy, and to require the representative to provide complete and periodic accountings to you or to a third party.
Can a transfer of a Principal's assets to other people be a good thing?
Yes. The principal may want to authorise transfers of gifts or property for estate planning and other valid purposes.
Who monitors the actions of my representative?
There is no official or government monitoring of representatives acting pursuant to Power of Attorney. It is the responsibility of the principal. It is therefore important to insist that your representative keeps accurate records of all the transactions completed for you, and to provide you with periodic accountings. You might also want to direct your representative to give an accounting to a third party in the event you are unable to review the accounting yourself. Should a principal, member of the principal's family or a friend have grounds to believe that a representative is misusing a Power of Attorney the suspected abuse should be reported to the police or other law enforcement authority to protect the principal from the loss of his or her property. You may consider asking a solicitor for help and advice.
What can I do if my Representative does not follow my instructions?
You may revoke the Power of Attorney at any time. You should inform your representative, in writing, that you are revoking the Power of Attorney. Request the return of all copies of your Power of Attorney. You should notify your bank or other financial institution where your representative has used the Power of Attorney that it has been revoked. If you decide to revoke a Power of Attorney it is probably in your best interests to consult a solicitor, and arrange to have a new Power of Attorney executed.
How many copies of a Power of Attorney should I sign?
You are required to sign (execute) only one copy. It is not unusual for a principal to sign several original copies. Banks and financial institutions generally require an original or a certified copy before allowing a representative to transact business on the principal's behalf. Banks frequently provide customers with their own Power of Attorney forms.
Do I need to have my signature witnessed on a Power of Attorney?
Yes your signature on the Power of Attorney must be witnessed by a Notary Public.
Do I need a solicitor to prepare a Power of Attorney?
No you are not required to use a solicitor. However, because a Power of Attorney is such an important legal instrument, the careful consumer will consult a solicitor who can: provide legal and other advice about the powers that are appropriate to be delegated provide counsel on the choice of an representative: Outline the representative's legal and fiduciary obligations while acting under a Power of Attorney; and ensure that the Power of Attorney is properly executed and meets all legal requirements. The typical Fee for preparing a Power of Attorney starts at around 200 euro's.