Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person authority to make legally binding decisions on your behalf. There are two forms of Power of Attorney:
- General Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney is for when you need support for a specific period or event such as dealing with matters while you are holidaying overseas. A General Power of Attorney only remains in force while you are able to make your own decisions.
Alternatively, an Enduring Power of Attorney is written to appoint someone to make decisions on personal/health matters and/or financial decisions.
- Personal/health decisions relate to your medical care and welfare. This includes issues around personal and health care such as where and with whom you live, day-to-day issues like diet and dress, and decisions relating to medical treatment for you.
- Financial decisions determine how your finances are managed. This may include selling your home or using your income or assets to pay bills or invest your money.
As the name suggests an Enduring Power of Attorney remains in force after you are unable to make your own decisions.
Life takes unexpected twists and turns, especially when you least expect it – accident, illness or tragic events may happen at any time. By creating an Enduring Power of Attorney you are safeguarding yourself if something unfortunate, either temporary or permanent, happens to you.
You can either put in place a Power of Attorney and determine your future; or leave it to others, who may not know you, to make crucial decisions on your behalf.
There are some situations where having an Enduring Power of Attorney in place is essential. As an example: a husband and wife are involved in a car accident where the husband suffers severe head trauma and slips into a coma while the wife suffers less serious injuries. The wife wishes to either refinance or sell their home in order to pay for the medical costs. Without an Enduring Power of Attorney, the wife is unable to do this as they jointly own the house and she is unable to make any decisions on the husband’s behalf.
If you are ready to discuss nominating an Attorney, contact us and we will guide you through the process.