What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that you use to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs and make decisions on your behalf. It may be while you are travelling overseas or it may come into effect if you become unwell and no longer able to manage your financial affairs.
What is an Enduring Guardian?
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian is a legal document that you use to appoint someone to make health and lifestyle decisions for you if you become incapable of doing so.
Who can make a Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardianship?
Anyone over the age of 18 who has the capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the document, who makes the decisions in the document of their own free will and who can communicate clearly what those decisions are.
When should I make a Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardianship?
Before you need them! These documents safeguard your interests in the event of something unforeseen – an accident or illness that leaves you without the capacity to make decisions for yourself. It is better to be prepared and confident in knowing that the person you choose will be making important decisions about your money, your living arrangements and your health.
When does it start?
You can choose when you want it to start. It may choose to start it immediately or at a later date, such as if you lose your capacity to make decisions.
Who should I appoint to be my Attorney or Guardian?
You need to appoint someone your trust to make the right decisions. You can appoint more than one person if you wish, and you can specify exactly how they make their decisions – jointly or separately. For a Power of Attorney, make sure that the person you appoint has the necessary skills to deal with your finances.
What are the legal responsibilities of my Attorney?
They are legally responsible to you and must act in your best interests. While you have mental capacity they must obey your instructions. They cannot give gifts to themselves or to anyone else unless you specifically authorise this and they must keep their finances and money separate from yours, keeping accurate records of all of their dealings with your money.
Can I change my mind?
Yes, as long as you still have the decision making capacity to do so you can revoke or change these documents. This has to be done in a legally binding way so it is important to seek legal advice.