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Home » Our Services » General and Enduring Power of Attorney

General and Enduring Power of Attorney

A Will does not allow a person to make decisions for you while you are alive, even if you become mentally incapacitated. Accordingly, you should consider creating a Power of Attorney in addition to a Will.

There are two different types of Powers of Attorney.

  • A General Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives power to a specific person (referred to as an 'attorney') for a specific purpose and is only valid while you have legal capacity. This may be useful in situations where, for example, you may appoint someone else to have the power to act on your behalf in relation to the purchase of a property because you know you will be overseas or otherwise unavailable to complete the purchase yourself.
  • An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person (known as an 'attorney') who will manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf even in circumstances where you have become mentally incapacitated, for example, brain damage, dementia, unconsciousness, Alzheimer's disease or serious injury. Thus, an Enduring Power of Attorney endures after you have lost capacity. Creating an Enduring Power of Attorney is important because your family members do not automatically have the right to make financial, property, personal or medical decisions for you while you are mentally incapacitated.

    When you create an Enduring Power of Attorney you may specify, limit or give directions as to the decisions your attorney can make on your behalf. For example, you are able to give your attorney the power to make financial, property, personal and medical decisions for you while you are mentally or otherwise incapacitated. You may want to give directions to your attorney in relation to what types of treatment you wish to be given or what types of treatments you do not want.

 

Who should be my attorney?

Any person over the age of eighteen years can be your attorney. However, we recommend that the person you choose to be your attorney is a person whom you trust absolutely.

What protection do I have?

When making decisions on your behalf, your attorney must act as they believe you would have acted in the circumstances. In addition, when making medical decisions on your behalf, your attorney may only consent to lawful medical decisions that are essential for your wellbeing.

When can I make an Enduring Power of Attorney?

At any time, so long as you have full mental capacity. This means that if you have had a stroke, Alzheimer's or dementia or have brain damage and you cannot make your own decisions, you cannot make or revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney.

What happens if I don't have an Enduring Power of Attorney?

If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and you become mentally incapacitated, any person may apply to the Supreme Court or the Guardianship and Management of Property Tribunal to be appointed as your guardian. In these circumstances, you do not have control over who may be appointed as your guardian. In addition, if you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and do not have a legally appointed guardian, you have no control over decisions that may be made while you are mentally incapacitated. This could mean that you are left in limbo medically, financially or personally.

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Why create a Will?

Every adult should have a Will. We can assist you by drafting and finalising a legally effective Will... read more

What protection do I have?

When making decisions on your behalf, your attorney must act as they believe you would have acted in the circumstances. In addition... read more