Do I need to give a General or a Special Power of Attorney?

 Do I need to give a General or a Special Power of Attorney?

For most people, it’s not common knowledge of what a Power of Attorney (POA) is. We all heard of it before but never really understood what it does, what it can do or even when you would need one.

This article will help you discern between a General POA or a Special POA by giving meaning to their respective definitions.

To begin with, a Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that authorizes another person, called an agent, to act on behalf of the person who granted the power of attorney, known as the principal, in the event that the principal cannot represent him or herself personally, for example,  due to a busy schedule or being in a different country..

A general power of attorney gives broad powers to the agent. The agent may act on behalf of the principal almost in all situations. For instance, the agent is able to make medical decisions, legal choices, or financial or business decisions. This also includes power over vehicles, bank transactions (to some extent), manage properties,  maintain, manage and sell all types of assets, Nevertheless, a general POA may not be accepted for selling a real estate property, unless the principal and the agent are first-degree relatives (e.g. spouses, children, parents). Otherwise, for selling a real estate, a Special POA would be required.

On the other hand, there are General POAs for specific asset type. For instance, there is a General POA for Vehicle Transactions or General POA for Property Transactions. A General Vehicle POA gives the agent power to use, drive, maintain, export and sell whilst a General Property POA will give the power to manage, maintain and sell.

As for Special Power of Attorney, it particularly specifies what actions the agent can only make. A good example would be a Special Power of Attorney which only allows your spouse to represent you in the court while you’re away and cannot be present at the time necessary. Another typical scenario is a Special Power of Attorney which would grant a manager of your business the ability to oversee/run your business or make certain decisions in the event you are not present. A Special POA can also be made for specific tasks without broad powers, for instance, for selling a vehicle or managing a real estate property.

To recap, a Power of Attorney authorizes someone to act on your behalf, A General POA covers almost everything except selling real estate property, A General Vehicle and Property POA will cover management, maintenance and sale and last but not the least A Special POA which lets you specify a certain power to be given

This information has been provided by Mirza, CEO of

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