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The power of attorney – a key precautionary measure

Sep 5, 2016. Posted in Services

An accident or illness can impact your powers of judgement. By issuing a power of attorney, you decide yourself who can legally represent you. Generali offers expert advice.

If you lose your legal capacity as a result of an accident or illness, the adult protection authority (KESB) examines whether the legal powers of attorney are sufficient or whether additional measures are necessary to protect you. KESB approves acts of disposal and administrative acts, and issues guardianship orders.


No unlimited powers of representation for spouses or registered partners

Spouses and registered partners are entitled to legally represent each other, but cohabiting partners are not. However, laws on representation apply only to the legal action needed to provide maintenance as per usual and in accordance with the family's customary standard of living. This includes ordinary income and wealth management. If action is needed that goes beyond ordinary management, KESB must give its approval.


Power of attorney as a binding statement of volition in case of legal incapacity

Alongside official measures, adult protection law also provides for "powers of attorney". This instrument allows you to decide yourself who may represent you in specific cases relating to your personal care, financial matters and legal proceedings. If you issue a power of attorney, you ensure that your wishes will be respected.

You can also set out your wishes on day-to-day matters, such as who can open mail, make payments, take investment decisions, extend or repay mortgages, buy property and represent you in legal proceedings. You can also appoint several people as your attorney in parallel. For example, you could appoint your spouse for personal care and your son or daughter for all financial matters, depending on your personal life and family situation. You can also set up a living will in which you indicate your wishes with respect to medical measures and treatment.


Generali's Centre for Pension Planning offers advice and support

Specific formal requirements need to be met to ensure that the power of attorney is valid. Clear instructions allow your representatives to act in accordance with your wishes. Would you like to draw up a valid power of attorney? The DOCUPASS from Pro Senectute helps you prepare for the worst-case scenario. It contains templates and information in the areas of powers of attorney, instructions in the event of death, living wills, the last will and testament, and more right to self-determination.


Expert advice: the sooner the better

Are you interested in a consultation with an expert? The first 50 respondents will receive a gift – the Pro Senectute DOCUPASS worth CHF 19.


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Do you have any questions about powers of attorney and living wills? If so, please do not hesitate to contact our experts at this e-mail address.