What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document by which the principal appoints a person or a trustee organisation (the attorney) to manage their legal and financial affairs while they are alive.  Making a power of attorney does not mean you lose control over your affairs.  It simply gives your attorney formal authority to manage your affairs according to your instructions.  You may revoke your power of attorney at any time, provided you have the capacity to do so.

A power of attorney may be executed for many different reasons – for example because the principal is travelling overseas and wants to give someone access to bank accounts to pay bills or manage finances. A person in poor health may make a power of attorney where they find difficulty in managing their own affairs.

If the person to whom you have given power of attorney does not meet their obligations and you incur financial losses as a result, you may take legal action.  If you have concerns about actions taken by a person appointed under a power of attorney our lawyers can assist.

Enduring Power of Attorney

A power of attorney prepared to continue effect after you lose your mental capacity, is known as an enduring power of attorney.

Advance Care Directive (Living Will)

There may come a time when you are unable to speak for yourself. Completing an advance care directive enables you to give directions about your medical treatment at such a time.  In the directive you may stipulate medical treatment preferences, identify how far treatment should go when your condition is terminal, nominate an appointed agent and make provision regarding organ donation.

For more information on powers of attorney or advance care directives contact us today.

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