Powers of Attorney are used to appoint a trusted individual to
make important financial decisions when you cannot. There are a
number of forms of these legal documents which can be used
depending on the circumstances that arise. A general Power of
Attorney is used to appoint someone to make decisions on your
behalf for a specified time period – For example, if you
travel overseas you cannot manage your financial affairs. However,
if you lose your capacity to make decisions permanently, this
appointment will become invalid.
An Enduring Power of Attorney continues to apply even when you
can no longer make financial decisions for yourself. An Enduring
General Power of Attorney will persist even when you are legally
incapable of making financial decisions. Creating an Enduring Power
of Attorney is equally as important as making a Will.
An Enduring Power of Attorney does not permit an individual to
make lifestyle, personal or treatment decisions on your behalf. In
order to appoint someone to do this, you need an Enduring Power of
By creating an Enduring Power of Attorney, you can appoint
someone you trust to manage your financial affairs either when you
lose capacity or immediately. This will enable you to choose
someone who is reliable and financially astute. A Power of Attorney
also minimizes financial hardships that may arise, if you can no
longer make reasoned decisions or attend vital meetings and
institutions due to physical disability. These simple documents
will ensure that your financial assets are managed with much
continuity as possibility.
You can also choose to impose limits of what activities and
decisions your appointed attorney can carry out on your behalf. It
is possible to outline how you would like your estate to be
managed, which adds to the control you have over your financial
affairs. Your appointed attorney can also maintain confidentiality
in respect to your investments, property and other financial
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a necessary document for anyone
who wishes to ensure their financial affairs are in order. By
creating an Enduring Power of Attorney, you avoid an administrator
being appointed against your wishes. More importantly, you can have
a say in who you would like to manage your estate and how.
To be an Enduring Power of Attorney, it is necessary for a
prescribed witness, such as a solicitor, to explain the effect of
the Power of Attorney to the principal before it is signed, witness
the signature by the principal and complete a certificate under
s.19 of the Powers of Attorney Act, 2003 (NSW).
If it is proposed that the Power of Attorney will be used to
sign documents that affect real estate, the Power of Attorney must
be registered at the office of Land & Property Information
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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There are several requirements that must be completed by an executor before the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
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