This is a legal document that allows the account holder (the donor) to give one or more people (attorneys) the power to act on their behalf in relation to their financial affairs.
A GPA can be applied to all of the donor’s financial matters across all financial providers; or it can be limited, and only grant the attorney access to specific accounts and matters.
The donor must have the mental capacity to make their own decisions when the GPA is set up, and the arrangement ends if the donor loses mental capacity at a later date.
In the document, the donor can specify:
- when responsibility passes to you and they can specify it for a period of time, eg to cover a trip abroad
- what decisions you can and can't make
- whether they want to make joint decisions with you
- whether they only want help with something specific, eg a house purchase (known as a 'specific' or 'limited' power), and
- restrictions, written in the document, eg if they just want you to have access to their current account to pay bills, and not have access to their savings accounts.