Do you have a Power of Attorney? | Southern Waters Legal

Do you have a Power of Attorney?

November 12, 2013
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Estate Planning Case Study

From September 2013, two new Power of Attorney forms are available for use, a General Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney. This is a result of the introduction of the Power of Attorney Amendment Act 2013 (NSW) and the Power of Attorney Amendment Regulation 2013 (NSW). From 1 March 2014 the use of the new form to create a Power of Attorney will be mandatory.

Now is the time to consider implementing a Power of Attorney, or if you already have a Power of Attorney, to consider updating it.

It is important to make a Power of Attorney before you need it. Once you have lost mental capacity you cannot make a Power of Attorney. Many people mistakenly believe that their husband or wife can automatically make legal or financial decisions for them in the event they cannot make these decisions, however, this is not the case.

A Power of Attorney

  • is a legal document made by one person (the “Principal”) that allows another person (the “Attorney”) to make legal and financial decisions on the Principal’s behalf
  • can be useful if you cannot make legal or financial decisions for yourself, for example, if you are ill, are confined to hospital or are overseas. Powers of Attorney must be lodged at the Land & Property Information (“LPI”) if your Attorney is going to deal with land. For example, if the Attorney is going to sell, mortgage or lease your home
  • only authorises your Attorney to make legal and financial decisions. A Power of Attorney does not allow your Attorney to make health, medical or lifestyle decision for you, these types of decisions you will need to appoint an Enduring Guardian under the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW).

Now is the time to consider implementing a Power of Attorney, or if you already have a Power of Attorney, to consider updating it.

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