Ordinary Powers of Attorney Solicitors
If you need some support or you no longer want to manage your own financial affairs, an Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA) allows you to appoint people you trust to take over for you.
There are many reasons why an Ordinary Power of Attorney (also referred to as a General Power of Attorney) might be right for you:
- Perhaps you are going on holiday or you live abroad most of the time;
- Perhaps you are going into hospital for a while;
- Perhaps you have a disability that makes it hard to manage your own finances; or
- Perhaps you are about to start a custodial sentence.
Whatever your circumstances, your OPA will allow one or more people (your attorneys) to do things like access your bank accounts, buy and sell property, and collect your pension.
OPAs are powerful documents, so it is important to make sure yours is drafted correctly to reflect your wishes.
Our friendly solicitors help people put in place robust Powers of Attorney. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your needs. We will get to know you and what you want to achieve, then put your wishes clearly in writing.
We will help you outline the exact scope of what you want your attorneys to be able to do. For example, you may want your attorneys to pay your bills but not to sell your property. So, you can trust that your best interests are safeguarded.
Get in touch with our Ordinary Power of Attorney solicitors
Contact our Ordinary Power of Attorney solicitors in London to set up your free initial consultation. We can:
- Help you decide whether an Ordinary Power of Attorney is right for you.
- Draft your bespoke Ordinary Power of Attorney on your behalf.
- Provide advice about explaining what the OPA means to your attorneys.
- Help attorneys with their responsibilities under an OPA.
- Help resolving Ordinary Power of Attorney disputes.
Navigating this page
- What is an Ordinary Power of Attorney?
- What is the difference between an Ordinary Power of Attorney and a Lasting Power of Attorney?
- How our Ordinary Power of Attorney solicitors can help
What is an Ordinary Power of Attorney?
An Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA), or a General Power of Attorney (GPA), is a legal document that authorises one or more people (called attorneys) to make decisions about your financial affairs on your behalf.
OPAs can only be used where the donor (the person who made it) has mental capacity – the ability to make their own decisions. A person may lack mental capacity where they have an illness such as Alzheimer’s Disease or where they have sustained a brain injury. For more information about mental capacity, visit our Lasting Powers of Attorney page.
An OPA may be right for you if you need someone to temporarily take over certain financial decisions, for example, because you are recovering from an illness or you are travelling abroad.
OPAs can be limited in scope to only allow your attorney to make specific decisions. They are sometimes referred to as Limited Powers of Attorney when drafted in this way.
If you are unsure about whether an OPA is suitable for your circumstances, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a free initial consultation.
What is the difference between an Ordinary Power of Attorney and a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The main differences are:
|Ordinary Powers of Attorney||Lasting Powers of Attorney|
|OPAs are only valid so long as the donor has mental capacity. The document terminates if the donor loses their mental capacity.||Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) may be used after the donor has lost mental capacity (and are often created specifically for use after loss of mental capacity).|
|OPAs can only be created to authorise attorneys to make financial decisions.||LPAs can be created to authorise attorneys to make decisions about financial affairs and/or the donor’s health and welfare (such as decisions about their care and medical treatment).|
|OPAs do not have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.||LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.|
How our Ordinary Power of Attorney lawyers can help
Advice about Ordinary Powers of Attorney
We can provide personalised guidance to help you make informed decisions about things like:
- Whether making an OPA is right for you.
- Whether another type of Power of Attorney (such as a Lasting Power of Attorney) may suit your circumstances better.
- Who you want to appoint as your attorneys.
- Whether you want your attorneys to act ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’ (whether they must make all their decisions together or whether they are allowed to act on their own).
Drafting your Ordinary Power of Attorney
We can draft you a bespoke OPA document that:
- Clearly reflects your wishes.
- Defines the exact decisions you want to authorise your attorneys to make.
- Places limitations on your attorneys’ powers to protect your finances.
- Reduces the risk of confusion over your wishes.
- Fully complies with the law.
Talking to your attorneys
We can help you explain to your attorneys exactly what their powers and duties are so there is no confusion over what they can and cannot do.
We can also provide advice to attorneys directly about their duties under an Ordinary Power of Attorney and assist with financial decisions.
Resolving Ordinary Power of Attorney disputes
We can help donors and attorneys resolve a wide range of OPA-related disputes, such as:
- Interpreting the terms of an OPA document.
- Advising joint attorneys about making joint decisions.
- Resolving disputes regarding the validity of an OPA.
- Guidance where the donor may have lost or be losing their mental capacity.
Have a different question about Powers of Attorney?
There are different types of Power of Attorney that can help you in different ways. For more information, visit our Powers of Attorney page.
Get in touch with our Ordinary Power of Attorney solicitors
Contact our Ordinary Power of Attorney solicitors in London to set up your free initial consultation.