Powers of attorney
Who will make financial decisions on your behalf If you have an accident or fall ill?
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to nominate someone you trust to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
A popular misconception is that a person's partner can make financial decisions for them and manage their assets. However, unless a formal power of attorney has been granted, these decisions may revert to a government agency instead. Having a power of attorney in place means you can nominate the person you want to make the decisions; it protects your interests.
Depending on state and territory laws, as well as your circumstances, a power of attorney can operate in different ways:
A general power of attorney allows someone to make financial decisions on your behalf for a limited time only (for example, if you are away on holiday or for a particular purpose).
An enduring power of attorney is the most common form and empowers someone to make financial decisions on your behalf. Unlike a general power of attorney, it comes into force on a specific direction from you or when you lack mental capacity and remains in place following your loss of capacity.
A power of attorney will give you peace of mind that someone you trust will manage your financial and legal affairs on your behalf.
One of our estate planning lawyers can work in partnership with you to establish a power of attorney for a client, giving them peace of mind that someone they trust will manage their financial and legal affairs when they can no longer do so.
For more information on powers of attorney, please speak to your adviser or call us on 1800 882 218.