Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person grants another person the authority to make legal and financial decisions on their behalf. A Power of Attorney can be used in several ways – having another take care of your affairs while you are travelling or in times of extended illness. An Enduring Power of Attorney takes this a step further, whereby the attorney, who is the person nominated to manage your affairs (also called the “Donee”) may continue to manage your affairs once you (also called the “Donor”) is found to have diminished mental capacity due to injury or illness. This arrangement can remain in place as long as the donor is still alive.
Powers of Attorney can be prepared in two ways – to come into effect immediately and to continue once the donor suffers a loss of capacity; or to come into effect at a future time (such as the onset of mental incapacity).
In order to sign a Power of Attorney, the donor must be capable of understanding the nature and effect of the document they are signing. It is therefore important in situations where an Attorney is to be appointed that it is done in a timely manner.
Appointing an enduring guardian differs from appointing an enduring attorney. An enduring power of attorney deals with a person’s financial affairs whereas an enduring guardian handles personal decisions, such as a person’s living arrangements, their personal services and consenting to or refusing medical/dental treatment.
Arrange a consultation with an experienced solicitor.