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Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian documents

These documents operate during your lifetime.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney can be defined as an appointmen via a legal document that allows a person to deal with your financial and property affairs. For example, you can appoint an attorney under power of attorney to sell your house or sell your shares whilst you are oversea or whilst you are in hospital not otherwise unavailable or unable to do so yourself.

It is best practice to arrange to appoint an attorney under Power of Attorney no matter what age you are in your life. You may be overseas and assets or property in NSW needs to be dealt with on an urgent basis, or bills need to be paid and bank accounts need to be accessed.

This is important for life planning similar to making a will. It is common practice to think to arrange to put a will in place and do not consider a power of Attorney.  The appointment of an attorney allows your attorney legal power to handle your financial affairs. It is very important to give thought into who you should appoint. It is important to appoint a person who you trust with your financial information and someone who is responsible and mature to do so.

A Power of Attorney may be revoked by advising the appointed attorney in writing that the appointment has been revoked and keeping a record of the revocation notice. You should contact a lawyer in this regard.

There is no knowing when you may not be in a position to act for yourself at a time when it is necessary. You should contact a lawyer to arrange to put this in place. We recommend that you speak with a probate lawyer who can handle the whole process and provide you with proper legal advice.

Enduring Guardian

An Enduring Guardian is appointed via a legal document that allows a person who has been appointed pursuant to the document to make decisions on your behalf in relation to non-financial matters such as lifestyle and medical decisions.

An enduring guardian document is useful when health care decisions need to be made, living arrangements need to be put in pace or consent to medical or dental treatment needs to be made.

By way of example, you may wish to appoint your spouse to make medical decisions on your behalf when you may not have the capacity to make yourself. In the case of an elderly person, who has had a fall and was admitted to hospital and can no longer live alone and independent now needs to go into a nursing home or aged car facility, an enduring guardian will need to be put in place to arrange the new living arrangements. This is the most common situation when an enduring guardian document is required. A lawyer can prepare this document.

We recommend that you consult a probate lawyer in relation to this matter.

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