What is Power of Attorney?8 December 2021
A Power of Attorney is used to enable your attorney to make decisions regarding your finances and contracts.
An enduring power of Attorney continues to be effective after a person loses mental capacity.
You may want to consider organising the creation of a Power of Attorney document if you would like your attorney to manage a financial transaction whilst you are overseas.
Brander Smith McKnight’s expert wills and estates lawyers can assist you with drafting effective Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney documents.
Our team of experienced wills and estates lawyers can also help you with ensuring that you fully understand the implication of these documents and the responsibilities they create.
Why should I appoint someone as a Power of Attorney?
- You may want to consider appointing a Power of Attorney if:
- You want someone to manage your financial affairs whilst you are outside of the country
- You want someone to buy and sell property on your behalf
- You want the confidence that your financial affairs can be handled in circumstances where you cannot take care of them yourself
What are the responsibilities of a Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney documents typically provide that someone who is appointed as your Power of Attorney must:
- Keep their assets separate from yours
- Keep records of any actions taken in relation to your financial affairs
- Avoid conflicts of interests
- Obey your instructions
- Not misappropriate your funds
Why BSM Lawyers
We always take the time to listen carefully and thoroughly to your needs, we then advise on the most appropriate documents and structure for you.
Our lawyers meticulously draft your documents and then provide you with the opportunity to review these prior to finalisation.
We pride ourselves on creating watertight documents to minimise future risks in a cost-effective manner with a fixed fee. Compare our prices.
Brander Smith McKnight Lawyers also provide professional legal advice and advocacy for executors in any estate including distribution and contested estates.
We have offices conveniently located in Sutherland, Parramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.
For more information on how our wills and estates lawyers can assist you, please contact us on 02 8539 7475.
How much does a power of attorney document cost?
Brander Smith McKnight’s wills and estates lawyers provide meticulously drafted Power of Attorney documents that you require at a fixed fee.
For more information on the costs of a Power of Attorney document, please contact us on 02 8539 7475.
What is the difference between Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney?
The main difference between a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney, is that an Enduring Power of Attorney continues to operate even when the person who has granted the Power of Attorney has suffered a loss of capacity
How can I stop a Power of Attorney?
You can cancel a Power of Attorney in writing.
To do this, you must give written notice to your attorney that the Power of Attorney has been cancelled.
What is the difference between Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship?
Enduring guardianship refers to the appointment of a person who is allowed to make decisions relating to your health and lifestyle in circumstances where you cannot make these decisions for yourself.
Enduring guardianship is distinct from the Power of Attorney because it does not authorise a person to make financial decisions on your behalf.
Should I draft a Power of Attorney document myself?
Whilst you can prepare a Power of Attorney document yourself it may not be wise to do so. You should consider having a lawyer draft a Power of Attorney document for you to ensure that it is both legally valid and properly reflects your intentions. In addition, a lawyer can fully explain to you all aspects of a Power of Attorney document to ensure you understand its effect.
Who should I appoint as a Power of Attorney?
You can appoint anyone above the age of 18 as your Power of Attorney.
It is recommended that you appoint someone who has your complete trust as a Power of Attorney. This could be a spouse, family member or close friend who you can trust to act on your behalf.
What can I do if my Power of Attorney is abusing their authority?
Legal action can be taken against a Power of Attorney that is abusing their authority. What legal action can be taken will depend on the capacity of the person who has appointed the Power of Attorney.
It is important to note, that having a Power of Attorney document professionally drafted by a lawyer can assist in mitigating the chance of any abuse of an Attorney’s authority.
For more information on how we can help with a Power of Attorney who is abusing their authority, please contact us on 02 8539 7475.
When will a Power of Attorney document take effect?
When a general Power of Attorney document will take effect is a decision that should be considered by the person appointing an Attorney. For example, an appointer may wish to have the document take effect immediately, during a defined period of time or following your Attorney’s agreement to the appointment. You should consider seeking legal advice to explore the various options relating to when a Power of Attorney document will take effect.
What is capacity?
In the context of Power of Attorney documents, capacity refers to a person’s ability to understand, communicate and evaluate their choices. For example, where a mental illness or accident has rendered a person incapable of comprehending health care choices presented to them, they may not be considered as having the legal capacity to make those choices.
An Enduring Power of Attorney document will be effective even where a party has lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
For more information on the concept of capacity, please contact us on 02 8539 7475.
Should I use an online Power of Attorney template?
Whilst you can access Power of Attorney document templates online, you should consider having a wills and estates lawyer draft the document. This will ensure that the Power of Attorney document is tailored to your circumstances and instructions. Having a Power of Attorney document drafted by a lawyer also ensures that it is legally effective. A lawyer can also fully explain the terms of a Power of Attorney document to you.
Please contact us on 02 8539 7475, for more information about how our expert wills and estates lawyers can draft you an effective Power of Attorney document.