Power of Attorney

“There are different types of Powers of Attorney. Seeking legal advice and assistance in making a Power of Attorney ensures that your appointee is given appropriate powers to act and make decisions for the purposes specified by you.”

The grant of power of attorney to a trusted person is a recommended practice to everyone over the age of eighteen years. Powers of attorney can become very useful in events where the person giving the power of attorney is no longer able to make decisions or physically manage their affairs as a result of illness or accident.

Having a power of attorney in place means that you have that security — provided the person who holds the power of attorney acts in your interest — that your legal, financial and, in some cases, medical, affairs will be managed appropriately.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document in which you appoint and authorise a trusted person — known as your ‘attorney’ — to make decisions and act on your behalf and to manage your affairs.

There are different types of powers of attorney and your attorney’s ability to act and make decisions on your behalf is limited to the powers you grant to them.

What are the different types of powers of attorney?

There are four types of powers of attorney as follows:

  • Enduring power of attorney – financialWith these powers, your attorney has the ability to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.
  • Enduring power of attorney – medicalWith these powers, your attorney is able to make decisions about required medical treatment on your behalf in the event your soundness of mind is affected and you no longer able to make decisions as a result of illness, injury or ageing.
  • Enduring power of guardianshipWith these powers, your attorney has the ability to make decisions concerning your personal and lifestyle affairs. They can also make decisions with respect to required medical treatment in the event of your incapacity, however, they cannot consent or refuse any medical treatment on your behalf.
  • General power of attorneyYou are able to specify and limit the circumstances you wish for your attorney to act or make decisions on your behalf. This is a limited power of attorney.

Who can grant Power of Attorney?

Any person can grant powers of attorney provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Be able to understand the nature of the attorney document.
  • Be able to understand the powers specified in that documents.
  • Be able to understand the powers you solely retain to act and make decisions for yourself.
  • Be able to understand your options to cancel or revoke the granted power of attorney.

Who can be granted Powers of Attorney?

Any person can be granted powers of attorney provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Have legal capacity — be of sound mind.
  • Agree to be the appointed attorney.
  • Be a trusted person to manage the affairs of, and make decisions for, the person giving the powers.

Which Power of Attorney for me?

The type of powers you can grant to a person depends entirely on the purposes for which you wish to grant the power of attorney. It is recommended you grant an enduring power of attorney to a trusted person as it provides you with the comfort that your financial, legal and medical affairs, if required, are managed. Your best option is to seek legal advice on the type of power to give to your attorney.

Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your requirements for a power of attorney with one of our power of attorney lawyers who are specialists.

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