Having somebody take care of your business dealings can be real nice. Just think about it. You don’t have to go to your business meeting in say Uganda to sign documents. You can just send a representative with the power of attorney and that person can sign the contract for you. But for all its benefits, the power of attorney can also be a bane when not done the right way and when put into the wrong hands.
What is a power of attorney?
Before we can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a power of attorney, you must first understand that exactly is the concept. Power of attorney is a document that gives people the authority to act on another person’s behalf for a specific period and matter depending on what is stated on the paper. This means that another person can sign documents for you and make decisions on your behalf. The person who gives the power of attorney is often called the principal while the grantee is called the proxy or sometimes the agent.
Use of the Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is used within corporations where executives have tightly packed schedules that require them to travel in three different countries in a span of three days. This can either be physically impossible or at best, physically tiring. Thus, the power of attorney serves to lift the burden from the executives, allowing them to become more productive. Company lawyers are often sent or subordinates who are trusted to make decisions and sign the contract.
Another advantage of a power of attorney is its importance in making healthcare decisions. A power of attorney can also be given to people, authorizing them to refuse or allow medical care to the principal if they become incapable of making decisions for themselves. This also includes making the decision to pull the plug in cases when only a machine is keeping the principal alive.
Some people are also given the power of attorney to take care of a principal’s financial portfolio. Although this is well and good especially when you are so busy and want to put the business of investing your money to a professional. But money can turn people dishonest. And here lies the one disadvantage of a power of attorney— putting your trust into one person.
On the downside
Remember that in giving a power of attorney to someone, you are basically telling people who read the document or the contract that you are giving the agent full rights to sign for you and agree or refuse something on your behalf. If the agent turns out to be corrupt, then any transactions that he or she handles is at risk for fraud. This is why although this is a very convenient thing to do; only a few ever use it. Giving that kind of power to one person can be very risky even if you plan to monitor all the transactions made under your name.
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