Power of Attorney
What is a power of attorney?
You can appoint your attorney for:
- a limited period; or
- an indefinite period.
It is important to understand that power of attorney in NSW only applies to financial and legal matters. It enables your attorney to sign legally binding documents on your behalf, according to your instructions, when you cannot do so personally.
You can use a power of attorney for almost any financial purpose, including:
- collecting debts
- voting at meetings
- operating your bank accounts
- managing your investments
- collecting rent.
Under the NSW legislation , there are two types of power of attorney:
- a general power of attorney, which is useful if you are going to be away for a short time.
- an enduring power of attorney, which comes into effect if you lose mental capacity.
It is important to note that a general power of attorney is automatically terminated if you lose mental capacity. Therefore, you should probably make sure you also have an enduring power of attorney.
In addition, a power of attorney does not authorise someone to make other decisions about your affairs, such as:
- personal affairs.
To have someone who is responsible for those issues, you need to appoint an enduring guardian.
In what circumstances should you consider appointing a power of attorney?
You might draw up a limited power of attorney, in order to enable your attorney to act for you if you are going overseas. You might want to give your attorney access to your bank accounts, so they can pay your bills.
Alternatively, you might appoint a power of attorney to deal with a specific situation in another state or overseas.
Who should you appoint as your power of attorney?
Because the attorney has full authority to deal with your affairs (both financial and legal), it is important that you appoint someone you trust and who will act in a responsible way.
You could appoint:
- a family member
- a close friend
- a trustee organisation
- a lawyer.
Ideally, the person you appoint should have the business and financial skills to manage your affairs properly.
Your attorney must agree to take on the role, so you should discuss it with them before you appoint them.
Who should prepare your power of attorney?
You should probably have your power of attorney prepared by a lawyer.
First, a power of attorney must be witnessed by a prescribed person (who may be a lawyer).
How does Monardo Solicitors approach preparing powers of attorney?
Are you the kind of person who likes to have their affairs in order? Would you feel more comfortable if you had a power of attorney? Would you like a lawyer to draft it?
At Monardo Solicitors, we like to make your life easy.
In order to ensure that preparing your power of attorney is as efficient and cost-effective as possible, as well as ensuring that the document reflects exactly what you intended, we’ve designed a power of attorney form to simplify the process.
How does our power of attorney form work?
Step One: You fill in the power of attorney form
You simply fill in the power of attorney form on this website and send it to us via the reply button at the bottom of the page.
Step Two: We will get back to you quickly, with a quote for how much it will cost to draft your power of attorney
We will review the information you’ve provided and give you a quote for drafting your power of attorney as per your instructions.
If we need any additional information or think there may be other issues, we will get in touch with you.
Step Three: We draft your power of attorney
If you are happy with our quote and instruct us to go ahead, we will prepare a draft power of attorney for you to review.
Step Four: You review your draft power of attorney
You review the draft power of attorney we have prepared for you and let us know whether you would like any amendments made.
Step Five: We arrange for your power of attorney to be signed and witnessed
We arrange for you to sign your power of attorney and have it witnessed. We can arrange copies to be made for you and even for the original to be stored in a safe place at no extra cost.
Can we help if you don’t like filling in online forms or you require a more complicated power of attorney than is usually the case?
At Monardo Solicitors, we understand that not everyone likes filling in online forms. That is fine. Just call our experienced wills and estates team on 02 8006 5244 and we will be happy to assist you.
Power of Attorney FAQs
When does a power of attorney take effect?
You can elect when your power of attorney comes into effect.
This could be:
- when the attorney accepts the appointment
- at a particular date
- when the principal’s attorney considers that the principal needs assistance managing their financial affairs.
How long does a power of attorney last?
A power of attorney will operate until:
- your cancel it
- the attorney no longer wants to act
- the Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Guardianship Tribunal) or Supreme Court makes an order affecting the power of attorney.
It also ceases if either the attorney or the principal becomes:
- loses their mental capacity.
If the power of attorney has been registered, a written revocation of that power should also be registered.
Do you need help with estate planning? Would you like to talk to a lawyer who has extensive experience in estate planning? Call our experienced wills and estates team now on 02 8006 5244.