Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is just as important as a Will. While a Will operates on your death, a Power of Attorney operates during your life.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document authorising another person, such as a trusted friend or relative, to act on your behalf in your affairs. This person is known as your “attorney”.
It is a convenient method of allowing someone to handle your affairs if you go overseas; take an extended holiday; suffer injury or illness; or reach an age when you need greater assistance.
Knowing you have an attorney capable of dealing with your affairs when you are absent or infirm gives you peace of mind.
Appointing an attorney
Your appointed attorney:-
- must be at least 18 years old
- must not be your health care provider (for example your doctor)
- must not be a bankrupt
- must not be a paid carer (receiving a carer’s pension does not stop a person from being an attorney).
It is important to choose someone you trust, and who is capable of looking after your affairs. You may wish to appoint more than one attorney, eg, your spouse and your eldest child.
Types of Powers of Attorney
There are two types of Power of Attorney: a General Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney.
General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney is often used in a business context by a company or an individual.
It comes into effect on the date or occasion you select and you may limit the matters which your attorney may deal with.
A General Power of Attorney becomes invalid when you lose your capacity to make decisions.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Under an Enduring Power of Attorney you may give your attorney the power to deal with all or any part of your financial, personal and health matters.
An Enduring Power of Attorney for financial matters comes into effect on the date or event (eg your incapacity) you select and continues to operate even though you have lost capacity to make decisions.
Your attorney can deal with your financial matters while you are still capable unless you specify otherwise.
For personal and health matters, your Enduring Power of Attorney comes into effect as soon as you have lost capacity to make decisions.
Why have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Everyone is at risk of accident or unexpected mental illness. If you lose your decision making capacity and do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney, your personal and financial affairs may be handled by a government official, for a fee.
You cannot make a Power of Attorney once you lose capacity.
Preparing a Power of Attorney
Speak with us about:-
- the type of Power of Attorney you require
- your choice of attorney and number of attorneys
- the scope of power given to your attorney
- when you would like the power to commence
To be valid, your Power of Attorney must be in the approved form and comply with strict witnessing requirements.
We will make sure your Power of Attorney is valid.
Revoking a Power of Attorney
You can choose to revoke your Power of Attorney at any time. This must be done in a specific way to be valid.
Your Power of Attorney is automatically revoked:-
- on your death
- when you marry (unless your new spouse is your existing attorney)
- when you divorce (if your spouse was your attorney)
- when you appoint a new attorney with the same scope of power
- if your attorney dies or loses capacity
- if your attorney becomes unqualified eg. bankrupt or a paid health care provider.
Our service to you
We appreciate the importance of your personal affairs. Throughout our relationship you will receive expert guidance to assist you in your decisions. Out team will be responsible for preparing your Power of Attorney and will meet you personally to discuss your wishes.
Your Power of Attorney is an extremely important document so choosing us as your expert representative will ensure that this important personal document is given the attention it deserves.
We guarantee professionalism, personal service and knowledge. If you are not 100% satisfied with the quality of our service, we will do whatever is necessary to achieve your satisfaction.
Where to from here?
Contact us to find out how we can assist you.