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What You need to know about the Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is referred to a document which is usually but not necessarily under seal which a person called the donor authorizes another person (the donee) to act on behalf of the donor as his agent and it is lawfully and clearly spelled out in the Power of Attorney. However, the Power of Attorney does not transfer any titles in any properties on the done but only gives the done the authority to merely act on behalf of the donor.

When a person becomes unable to make decisions on his own due to injuries, health, or any form of unfortunate circumstances, a power of attorney can be put in helping to authorize another person to make important decisions on their behalf.

A power of attorney is a document used to guide the making of decisions for people who cannot make the decisions for themselves and also provide the best care for them. In other, for you to know, understand, and determine which type of power of attorney will be more appropriate for any given circumstance.

Types of Power of Attorney

Knowing the types of power of attorney helps the donor know exactly what powers he wants to coffer and the limits of such powers. It also helps the donor know which type of power of attorney to use at any situation or circumstance in which it is intended to be used. Here are the types of power of attorney.

Durable & Non-Durable Power of Attorney

The durable and non-durable power of attorney is found to be the most common.  A durable power of attorney authorizes the donee to have full control of the donor’s decision should they become unable to make them at some point. The durable power of attorney immediately effective when the donor is incapacitated or disabled but it expired upon the donor’s death.

While Non-durable power of attorney, on the other hand, is used for a set period of time. The non-durable power of attorney is effective after a person requests for it which will allow the donee to manage the important affairs of the donor when he is abroad for a while. This power of attorney is revoked upon request of the donor or when he becomes incapacitated or upon death.

Medical Power of Attorney

The medical power of attorney is a type that is important to understand as it is the type of power of attorney that authorizes a person to have the legal authority to make medical decisions on behalf of a patient in cases where the patient is unable to communicate and make the decisions regarding his treatment himself. In this case, the agent takes on the role of the patient advocate upon the consent of the physician in charge.

Springing Power of Attorney

This type of power of attorney is usually an alternative to some of the different types of power of attorney. Some people may not feel too comfortable granting someone else power of attorney while they are still healthy. The springing power of attorney is designed to take effect only upon a specified condition, event, or date. For instance, if a person is having surgery and the doctors need authority to do something on behalf of the patient, the agent can help in the process of making the decision. 

Limited Power of Attorney

The limited power of attorney which is also referred to as special power of attorney gives the donee the power to handle investment, financial, and banking matters of the donor. This type of power of attorney is most often used during one-time transactions in situations where the donor is unable to complete the transaction due to illness or incapacitation. The authority of the donee is required to remain exclusively within the scope of what the donor determines.

The power of attorney is meant to protect the people that cannot protect themselves, with their trusted loved ones by their side to help them. Understanding the different types of power of attorney makes it simple and comforting when making decisions in otherwise difficult times.

Uses of Power of Attorney

It is used for buying and selling of land on behalf of the Donor

It is a remedial device for a legal mortgage by sub-demise in CA

It is used for prosecuting cases in court

It is also used to collect money on behalf of the donor.

It is used for receiving rents, rates, and profit on behalf of the donor.

It is importantly used for making critical and important decisions on behalf of the donor

Formalities of Power of Attorney

Writing: This is a document in writing. It cannot be orally given. The reasons are for attestation and registration. It also helps removes doubts as to the extent of powers conferred. It need not be by deed with the exception to where the power of attorney is given to do an act in which the execution of a deed is entailed.

Execution/Signing: It must be by deed where one is by a power of attorney empowered to execute a deed. There must also be an illiterate jurat where the donor is illiterate or blind.

Sealing: The normal rules as to sealing apply here.

Attestation: Attestation is advisable, although not compulsory. It is done by a judge, magistrate, or Notary public. When it is executed outside Nigeria, the attestation is done by a notary public.

Stamping and Registration: This requires a fixed rate of stamping but usually the document is assessed by the registry and it is done per value of the consideration offered. The instrument to include Power of Attorney is defined by the LIRL of some states. It becomes registrable where this is the case.


Please note that when using a power of attorney to deal with land matters, there quite a few rules which in some instances vary from state to state. It is important to know that in this regard, the power of attorney does not confer an interest inland. Therefore, where the seller grants the buy a power of attorney on the purchase of land, it is a usual practice for the buyer to perfect their title to that land in the form prescribed by law.

Finally, always ensure that you seek legal advice and assistance as regards the power of attorney. With this, you will have a lesser chance of making mistakes or errors.

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