Powers of Attorney and Guardianship
We would all like to make decisions and carry out actions for ourselves, unfortunately this is not always possible as illness or incapacity may prevent us from managing our own affairs.
In New South Wales a Power of Attorney is used to appoint someone to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf such as selling your house or operating your bank accounts, while an Appointment of Enduring Guardian is used to appoint someone to make health and lifestyle decisions on your behalf.
Who can make a Power of Attorney & Appointment of Enduring Guardianship?
Anyone over the age of 18 who has the capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the document, who makes the decisions in the document of their own free will and who can communicate clearly what those decisions are is able to appoint an Attorney and Enduring Guardian.
When should I make a Power of Attorney & Appointment of Enduring Guardianship?
Before you need them! These documents safeguard your interests in the event that something unforeseen, be it accident or illness, 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.
Who should I appoint to be my Attorney or Guardian?
You need to appoint someone your trust to make the right decisions. You can appoint more than one person if you wish, and you can specify exactly how they make their decisions – jointly or separately.
What are the legal responsibilities of my Attorney?
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 authorise 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’s really important that you discuss these documents with a Solicitor who can give you professional advice about your particular circumstances. It’s also vital that you discuss your wishes with your family to avoid unnecessary conflict and stress.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation so that we can discuss your circumstances and provide advice as to an arrangement most suitable for you.