Powers of Attorney are legal documents where you give some or all of your legal decision making powers to someone else.
There are different types of powers of attorney:
- A general non-enduring power of attorney – you may choose to make one of these if you are going to be unavailable for a period of time to deal with specific or all financial issues.
- For example if you are selling your house but you are not going to be available to sign the contract if a purchaser is found. You can give your attorney the power to sign the contract on your behalf.
- Another example is that you are going overseas and will not be able to pay bills that come in while you are away, you may give your attorney the power to withdraw funds from your bank account to pay specific bills.
- An enduring power of attorney is made while you have the mental capacity to make decisions and generally does not come into effect until you lose that capacity. This document gives your attorney the legal power to make decisions on your behalf with respect to all your financial and/or personal matters.
- An example of financial matters is where an attorney would manage your finances, sell your possessions, purchase gifts for your family on your behalf, pay bills, and use your funds for your health and accommodation needs.
- An example of personal decisions includes finding suitable accommodation for you when you can no longer live on your own, find activities that you could participate in and find services to support your everyday needs.
- An enduring medical power of attorney can be made while you have mental capacity and gives your attorney the power to make all medical decisions on your behalf when you no longer have the capacity to make your own decisions.
You can choose more than one attorney, and we strongly suggest that you do. The person or people you choose to act on your behalf should be capable of decision making, be honest and capable of managing your personal, financial and medical affairs.
Powers of attorney are only valid while you are alive, upon a person’s death their Will comes into action.
Why not take control of what you can today by calling us on 03 9741 1722 to find out more about these important powers of attorney.
You may also read some additional information provided by the Law Institute of Victoria .