A Power of Attorney is a document appointing another person (called an attorney) to act for you in relation to your financial affairs. The document states what your attorney is authorised to do on your behalf. Any lawful action taken by the attorney under a Power of Attorney is binding on you. It is therefore important to appoint someone you trust.
Even when you appoint an attorney, you can still personally carry out any transactions, such as banking and the sale of property, while you retain the ability to do so.
A Power of Attorney continues while you desire it and it can be cancelled at any time while you have the capacity to make such a decision. The duration may also be set for a particular period of time, for example a period while you are ill or while you are overseas.
Enduring Power of Attorney
If you want the authority you give the attorney to continue when you lose the capacity to make your own decisions, you need an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Making an Enduring Power of Attorney is a way for you to legally appoint a person you choose to manage your financial affairs even if you later lose capacity to make these decisions for yourself.
An Enduring Power of Attorney must be made when you are of sound mind. You can make Enduring Power of Attorney arrangements, which come into effect immediately, or that remain dormant and come into effect when you are unable to manage financial matters for yourself.
There are a number of safeguards in place for Enduring Powers of Attorney that will protect your interests.
If you think a Power of Attorney arrangement is appropriate for your situation or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Estate Planning team at Baldock Stacy & Niven.