Power Of Attorney: Is It Necessary?


The short answer to this question is yes. It’s highly recommended that, as a part of your overall estate planning, you put into place a Power of Attorney. It’s one of the most important safeguards you can have in place to protect your ability to make decisions.

What Is A Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document through which you appoint someone you trust to act

on your behalf in regards to your property and financial affairs. The document states what the attorney is authorised to do on your behalf. This can be quite narrow and specific or as general as you wish.

Why Should I Have a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is not only useful in the situation you lose your ability to make decisions. You may be travelling overseas and want to give your attorney access to your bank accounts to pay your bills or manage your finances. Alternatively, if you become unwell or lose the ability to manage your financial affairs, having a Power of Attorney in place allows your attorney to make decisions on your behalf.

What Happens If I Lose Capacity & Don’t Have A Power Of Attorney?

If you lose capacity and haven’t made a Power of Attorney there will be no one with legal authority to manage or make decisions about your property or finances. Your family may have difficulty accessing your bank accounts to pay your bills. If you need to move into residential aged care and your home needs to be sold, only someone who has been appointed as your attorney can do this.

A relative or another person may need to apply to the Guardianship Tribunal or Supreme Court to have a financial manager appointed for you. This may not be the person you have chosen and could cause your family significant time and cost to apply to the Guardianship Tribunal.


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