Precautionary power of attorney

A sudden accident, stroke or other serious illnesses can lead to mental and physical frailty. Taking precautions for such times must be well thought out. If you want to avoid the ordering of care in such cases, you can achieve this by means of a power of attorney.

Care is no longer necessary if the matters of the person concerned can be taken care of by an authorised representative or by assistance in another form as well as by a supervisor.

A power of attorney applies not only in cases of permanent need for care, but also if the person concerned is only temporarily unable to act independently and make meaningful decisions. It constitutes an authorisation of representation granted by legal transaction. A prerequisite for a lawful power of attorney is the ability of the power of attorney.
The power of attorney empowers a person you trust in predetermined situations and for predetermined tasks, is authorized to act for the power of attorney. A revocation or a change of the pension power of attorney, for example in order to adapt it to a current situation, is possible at any time.

Since legal transactions that take place on the basis of a pension power of attorney are not regularly reviewed by third parties (the agent becomes the representative through the pension power of attorney and therefore decides in place of the authorising authority that is no longer able to make a decision), you should only grant authorisations to particularly trustworthy, personally known and fully capable persons who are willing to act for you if necessary.

You can be guided by your wishes and needs when drawing up the power of attorney, as well as give additional instructions on how to regulate certain of your matters. It may therefore be appropriate to involve the authorised representative or representatives requested in the drafting of the authorisation.

Special features of the pension power of attorney

The following special features should be taken into account when drafting a pension power of attorney:

  • You can only draft a pension power of attorney if you have your own business capacity.
  • In principle, you can draft the power of attorney in formally. Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to have the power of attorney notarised. This is because the notary can give you comprehensive advice on possible legal effects and the content of your pension power of attorney. In addition, the notary can make statements about the ability to do business and officially document your identity and protect against a content-incorrect, inaccurate and inappropriate drafting of the pension power of attorney.
  • If there is a notarial power of attorney, this is a strong indication that you were able to do business as a power of attorney in the drafting. In addition, in order to eliminate doubts, you can obtain a medical certificate proving your ability to do business by certifying your ability to freely form a will.
  • If your power of attorney is also to be irrevocably suitable for real estate and banking transactions, notarial registration is mandatory.
  • The power of attorney becomes effective only when your own incapacity for business and action is determined by a doctor, but then immediately takes effect in contrast to the care order, in which the authorised representative must first be appointed by the care court to the caregiver.
  • Only the original of the pension power of attorney is valid, therefore, keep it safe, but at the same time make sure that the power of attorney remains traceable in the event of an emergency, since the authorised representative can only stand up for you with this. You can deposit the original with a lawyer or a notary. In addition, you can register your pension power of attorney with the Central Pension Register.
  • In the case of notarised pension powers, further copies may be issued at any later by a notary, which are equivalent to the original in legal transactions.
  • You can authorize multiple people, who then perform different tasks for you in case of your incapacity for business. Note that you also need to draft different pension powers.
  • You have the possibility to appoint a substitute representative in the event that the designated agent is no longer able or otherwise unwilling to exercise the power of attorney for you.
  • If your agent is also to be allowed to make serious decisions in the case of medical measures in which you, as a power of attorney, may die as a result of the measure or suffer serious and prolonged health damage, you must explicitly mention this in your written power of attorney. In addition, for actions in these areas, the agent generally requires the prior approval of the Care Court (Department of the District Court). The same applies to possible restrictions on the freedom of movement of the power of attorney.
  • In order to ensure that your power of attorney is up-to-date, you can renew it annually by signing a date and, if necessary, by providing witnesses.
  • The notarial certification is almost equivalent (except in cases of irrevocable authorisation for real estate and banking transactions) also public certifications, which are carried out by a legal officer of a care authority.
  • A pension power of attorney is difficult to undo once it has entered into force, since the power of attorney is no longer capable of doing business. However, it is possible to make a provision in your pension power of attorney under which a court-appointed supervisor can unilaterally terminate the pension power of attorney. This caregiver will be appointed by the care court if the court deems it necessary for your benefit.
  • Bank power of attorney

    A bank authorisation authorizes a person to conduct all transactions with the bank on behalf of the power of attorney. They should also renew a bank authorisation annually. Even if notarial grading is not mandatory, this offers the highest level of security against doubt. If you have drafted a power of attorney and it includes banking and is notarized, it must be accepted by your bank. There is no need for additional bank authorisation for the authorised representative.

    You should use the form offered by your bank for this purpose, as this will avoid acceptance problems when exercising the power of attorney later.

    General power of attorney

    You may, by a general power of attorney, authorise one or more confidants to represent you in all matters without having to deal with individual powers or tasks. A general power of attorney therefore requires a great deal of trust in the authorised person. For your safety, it is still a good thing to list individual tasks that you want to take on in detail.In contrast to the power of attorney, a general power of attorney applies to all areas of life, even if these are not explicitly mentioned. Also with the general power of attorney only the original applies, which authorizes the authorized person immediately and at any time for you to act. Although advice and approval by a notary is not mandatory, this is strongly recommended.

    Related Links

    • Eintragung der Vorsorgevollmacht oder Betreuungsverfügung ins Zentrale Vorsorgeregister

    That depends on the extent of the power of attorney to be granted.

    Related Links

    • Hessische Broschüre "Betreuungsrecht"


    See also the brochure "Care Law", published by the Hessian Ministry of Justice and the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration

    • Hessische Broschüre "Betreuungsrecht"

    Responsible for the content
    Hessian Ministry of Justice

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