Is A Power Of Attorney A Requirement Or A Recommendation?

Why do you need a Power of Attorney? It’s one of the most critical safeguards you can have in place to protect your ability to make decisions. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you put into place a Power of Attorney as a part of your overall estate planning.

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 valuable for the situation you lose your ability to make decisions. You may travel 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 allows your attorney to make decisions on your behalf.

What Happens If I Lose Capacity & Are Without 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 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.