In New South Wales, there are several legal instruments that can be utilised to appoint another person to take control of your affairs in circumstances where you are unable to manage them yourself.
A Power of Attorney document confers on a person of your choice, the legal authority to make financial decisions (such as selling your house or operating your bank accounts) on your behalf.
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian may be used in circumstances where you wish to appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf with respect to health and/or living arrangements.
We can advise you of the most appropriate legal strategy to achieve your purpose and prepare the relevant legal documentation to give effect to your wishes.
Who can make a Power of Attorney & Appointment of Enduring Guardianship?
Anyone over the age of 18 who:
- Can communicate clearly what those decisions are
- Makes the decisions in the document of their own free will
- Has the capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the document
When should I make a Power of Attorney & Appointment of Enduring Guardianship?
Before you need them! These documents safeguard your interests in the event of unforeseen occurrences– an accident or illness that robs you of your 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 a Power of Attorney or Appointment of Enduring Guardianship commence?
You can choose when you want it to start. If you don’t make it clear when you want it to start then it will commence when your attorney signs the document to accept their position.
Who should I appoint to be my Attorney or Guardian?
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 authorize this and they must keep their finances and money separate from yours, keeping accurate records of all of their dealings with your money.
Who should i talk to about it?
It is important that you discuss these documents with a lawyer who can give you professional advice about your particular circumstances. It is also vital that you discuss your wishes with your family to avoid unnecessary conflict and stress at a later time. At DINA Layers we can provide you with reliable advice and assistance.
Do I need a witness?
Yes, these documents need to be witnessed by a solicitor, conveyancer or a Court Registrar. They cannot be witnessed by your attorney.
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. However, this needs to be done in a legally binding way, so please seek legal advice first.