There are two different types of Power of Attorney, General and Enduring.
Note: Power of Attorney does not cover healthcare matters or medical directives (unless located in ACT).
What is a General Power of Attorney?
A General Power of Attorney allows you to nominate or choose someone to make decisions about financial and legal matters on your behalf, for a specified amount of time or to complete a specific task. The General Power of Attorney document is only valid while the person is alive and mentally sound.
This is often used when a person (the 'Grantor') is unable to do something themselves - for example, the person may be overseas and request that someone in their home country (the 'attorney') purchase a property on their behalf.
It is important to note that each state and territory has its own legislation which may have specific parameters around the role of the attorney.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document where you can appoint an 'Attorney' to make decisions about personal and financial matters on your behalf.
These decisions can include areas such as
- Personal finance (e.g. paying bills, managing bank accounts)
- Managing your property (e.g. selling or renting your home if you no longer live there)
- Arranging a new home or living situation (e.g. arranging for care or assisted living)
The Enduring Power of Attorney is used when you are unable to make decisions yourself. This includes circumstances such as accidents or illness where you are not able to make informed decisions or are uncontactable while travelling overseas. This document remains valid and legal while the person is alive, however, does not cover medical decision-making authority.
What happens when I die?
When you pass away, all forms of Power of Attorney terminate and your Will becomes the guiding document. Your final wishes should be clearly outlined in this document and will be carried out by your chosen Executor.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.