A power of attorney can save your bacon

When overseas, a power of attorney is useful to have to deal with issues back home.

Farmer Freddy is off on the trip of his lifetime, visiting Europe and the Mediterranean. He's toured the historic buildings of England and Italy, the vineyards of France and a few more vineyards in Spain for good measure.

Meanwhile, back home on the farm the new sharemilkers are busy settling in. They have moved into the house newly redecorated by Freddy, their children are settling in to the local school and many families have sent invites for get-togethers to make them feel welcome.

On the farm, they are busy retagging cows and finding their way around.

The cowshed is sparkling after an overhaul and installation of new milking machines, pump and rubberware, and everything is fully operational for when the cows start calving in late July.

Pebbles, who's looking after things for Freddy while he's away, opens a letter from the milking machine company.

Freddy is overdue in paying its invoice and the company is demanding payment within seven days. Then she opens Freddy's latest bank statement to discover he really has been living the high life while he's been away. As a result, there's not enough money in the account to pay the invoice.

So she decides to phone Freddy. She catches him on his mobile while he's sunning himself on a beach in the Greek Islands.

"Hi, Pebbles," he replies when she calls. "I wasn't expecting to hear from you. What's up?"

Pebbles explains that there's not enough money in his account to pay the invoice, which is overdue.

"Bother," says Freddy.

"I knew I'd forgotten something. But there should be plenty of money in the account. I talked to Sandy at the bank about a loan for the upgrade of the shed before I left the country."

"OK, Dad, I'll give Sandy a call to sort this out," says Pebbles, "and don't let it spoil your holiday."

The next morning, Pebbles calls Sandy to find out what's going on, only to be told that Freddy hasn't yet signed the loan documents.

Pebbles wonders what to do. It's too hard to get the documents to Freddy where he is.

Then she has a brainwave.

When Freddy went overseas the last time, he appointed her his attorney.

"I wonder if I can find that old power of attorney and deed of delegation?" she thinks to herself. "And I wonder if it's still valid?"

That night back at the farm, she searches through Freddy's filing system.

Eventually, when she's just about to give up, she finds it, at the bottom of a pile of travel magazines.

She checks the document and finds, to her relief, that it does empower her to sign the documents. The next morning, power of attorney in hand, with a certificate of non-revocation of attorney for good measures, Pebbles goes in to see Sandy to sign the loan documents as attorney.

When she checks Freddy's account that afternoon, she's relieved to find the money there, so she can pay the invoice.

She phones Freddy that night to tell him. "It's all right, Dad," she tells him. "I found that old power of attorney so I've saved your bacon.

Now you'd better bring me a very expensive present to thank me for that."


The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document.
If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser.


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