Powers of Attorney
It is a fact of life that at some stage you may be unable to handle our own personal affairs due to declining health, severe accident or loss of mental capacity. If you do not wish for a government department or institutional trustee to handle your financial affairs or some other person you do not trust to handle your personal health matters then you can safeguard your affairs by making an enduring power of attorney.
There are generally two types. A power of attorney can be a General Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney.
A General Power of Attorney is usually used for business purposes by a corporation or an individual.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal agreement which gives someone else the power to make personal/health and/or financial decisions on your behalf whilst you are still alive. The word “Enduring” simply means that the power continues even if you lose the capacity to make the decision yourself until you die.
It is important that you give someone you trust this power. This is because you may not always be able to make decisions as and when you need to. Consider what would happen if you were overseas when important decisions were to be made and documents signed about the sale of your property. What would happen if you are too ill to make your own choices as to the medical treatment you receive or where you will live? What happens if an injury prevents you from making decisions or being able to communicate what you decisions are?
Giving someone an enduring power of attorney means that your wishes will be carried out, even when you lose capacity to make decisions yourself.
Why take the risk of making your own enduring power of attorney? Certain legal requirements must be followed to ensure the validity of the Enduring Power of Attorney and Hogan Stanton Lawyers can ensure these requirements are met.
We will speak to you about:
♦ your choice of attorney and number of attorneys
♦ the extent of the powers you wish to give your attorney/s
♦ any specific requirements you wish met
♦ when you would like the power to commence
Don’t forget that your Enduring Power of Attorney does need to be reviewed from time to time as certain circumstances may automatically revoke your document such as on death, marriage or in the event of a divorce. You may also decide that you need to change your choice of attorney or other provisions made.
When making your enduring power of attorney, speak to your solicitor about giving an Advance Health Directive.