Powers of Attorney

Authorising a trusted Muslim in advance to handle affairs when it is neccessary

Arguably more important than a Will, (which dictates what happens when somebody dies) is a power of attorney, which helps a person to pass on decision making for their affairs to a third party during a time in their life when they’re unable to.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power-of-attorney is a written legal document which passes authority for a person's affairs to another person or persons. The most common types of powers of attorney are the following:

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney, though still legally valid, these types are no longer being produced and have been replaced by;
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney, of which there are two kinds:
    • Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs; and
    • Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health & Welfare.
  • General Powers of Attorney, which are put in place for very short term measures for specific purposes.

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Why should a Muslim have a Power of Attorney?

None of us know whether there will be a time in our lives when we’re unable to make a decision for ourselves or that we might want help to make decisions. A power of attorney gives a person that option and the power to decide in advance. It’s acts as a permissible form of insurance for the "just in case". The consequences of not having a power of attorney could be disastrous as this could involve a secular court deciding religious matters. Amongst others, some of the most important reasons for having a powers of attorney are as follows:

  • To provide assistance with your financial affairs, pay household expenses, keep on top of bills etc;
  • Sell assets in order to pay for care provisions;
  • To allow your attorney the decision to give or refuse life sustaining treatment;
  • To allow your attorney access to your medical records, so as to allow a second opinion; and
  • many more.

And do not give the weak-minded your property, which Allah has made a means of sustenance for you, but provide for them with it and clothe them and speak to them words of appropriate kindness

Al-Qur"an an-Nisa" 4:5