Appointing a power of attorney is key to ensuring that your best interests are always taken care of. Choosing someone you trust – whether it’s a family member or friend – is highly important. Having a lawyer to take care of the process is important too, and can make it even easier.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows another person to act on your behalf for both personal and financial matters. This person should be a spouse, close relative or trusted friend.
You can appoint up to 4 people to act as attorneys and they must be 18 or older. They cannot be a paid carer, a healthcare provider or someone who is bankrupt.
What We Do For You
The duties and rights of a power of attorney are only activated when you need them most. This makes satisfying all the legal requirements essential to the process.
We can prepare and register all the important legal documents for you, simplifying the process so all the important steps are in place.
General or Enduring?
There are two types of power of attorney, each with different purposes and different responsibilities to you. These are:
• General – for when you’re going on holidays or are in similar circumstances. These people can perform tasks such as paying your bills and can only make decisions while you still have capacity.
• Enduring – a power of attorney who can make financial and health-related decisions only when you lose the capacity to make these decisions
Appointing Your Attorney
You can appoint powers of attorney by completing, and sometimes registering legally binding documents. We can assist you through the whole process, including the revocation of powers.
For general power of attorney you will need:
• The general power of attorney form
For enduring power of attorney you will need:
• The enduring power of attorney short form (to appoint the same parties for personal and financial matters) or;
• The long form (for appointing different parties for personal and financial matters)
There are also relevant revocation forms to relieve an attorney of their role.
You should give copies of the documents to important parties including the attorney, your doctor, your accountant and our team. If the document is being used in land transaction, the original copy will need to be registered with the Titles Registry.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can learn more about this process, or assigning and revoking an attorney, in a free initial consultation with our team. Call us on (07) 3341 2222 to talk to an expert. Alternatively, you can read the questions and answers below.
When are you considered to have lost capacity?
You no longer have the capacity to make a decision if you can’t understand the nature of the decision, cannot freely volunteer to make decision, or cannot communicate it.
What happens if I am unable to sign the form?
Special provisions exist for people who cannot write, read and or understand English. In these cases, a mark of any kind – including a thumbprint – will suffice and an explanatory clause will be added.
What happens if I don’t have anyone to choose for the role
If no suitable party can be appointed, you can apply to appoint an independent statutory officer, known as the Public Guardian.
What happens if an attorney behaves inappropriately?
In cases of improper behaviour – such as unwisely selling assets – the Public Guardian can investigate an attorney and use several pathways to resolve the matter.