That your attorney cannot use your personal Power of Attorney document to sign documents or make decisions for a company or trust?
If you are the director of a company or trustee of a trust, you should be aware that your trust or company (rather than you personally) need to grant the powers if you want someone else to be able to take action for or on behalf of the company or trust.
The benefits of appointing an attorney to act on behalf of your company or trust include the following:
1. It means another person can sign documents for you and do things while you, as Director of the Company or Trustee of the Trust, are either on holiday or away from the principal place of business. This could be beneficial if you or one of your co-directors or co-trustees frequently travels, perhaps interstate or to site at the mines.
2. It can reduce the number of signatures required for the business to operate or legal documents to be signed. If there is more than one director of a company, usually two directors or a director and secretary need to sign all legal documents for the company. In the case of a trust, usually all trustees need to sign. A Power of Attorney can allow just one person, who may or may not be a director or trustee, to sign on behalf of the company or trust. This can make it easier and quicker to get documents signed, even on a day to day basis.
3. It allows the business to continue if you or your codirector or co-trustee become sick or incapacitated for a period of time, without the need for the personal assistant or lawyers and other professionals to hassle the sick or injured person at the hospital!
You can probably imagine that without a Power of Attorney, there are instances where it can be very difficult to get documents signed. A classic example is where the trustee or director jets off overseas for a well-earned break. For larger businesses, it can take quite some time to track down enough signatories for any transaction, even the smaller ones.
A Power of Attorney granted to the appropriate person can smooth the way for these transactions, so there are no unnecessary delays while you wait for someone to return from their travels, recover from their illness or simply for all the appropriate people to be in the same place at the same time. As with all Powers of Attorney, while the law requires the attorney to fulfil a number of duties and act properly in the performance of their duties, it is important to carefully consider the person you appoint as attorney and make sure that it is someone you can trust and has some knowledge of your business.
The Power of Attorney can be revoked later if the attorney (person granted the powers) resigns from your business or you no longer wish for them to act as attorney.
If you own a business and suspect that you may not have the correct Powers of Attorney in place, or you would simply like us to check your Powers of Attorney are in order, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine Webster or your usual Solicitor at Macrossan & Amiet.
This article, of course, assumed you already have a Power of Attorney for your personal affairs which covers financial matters and health matters, so if you don’t, you should!