It's hard enough finding time to get your Estate planning in order, without having to wade through the legal jargon to figure out what it is you actually need to put in place for your future. To help, we'll be running a short series on some of the most common questions we get, and help to break them down for you.
So today, we are looking at the Power of Attorney.
There are two types of Powers of Attorney the first one is where a person referred to as the “Principal” appoints a person to handle their financial affairs referred to as the “Attorney” while the principal is incommunicado i.e. away on holidays, these Powers of Attorney are usually limited to a certain period of time.
The second Power of Attorney is an Enduring Power of Attorney, this is where a Principal appoints an Attorney to manage their financial affairs and if the document is registered with the Land Registry Services, the Attorney can sell the Principals property. The important point is that an Enduring Power of Attorney continues to operate when the principal has lost their ability to manage their financial affairs.
You can individualise your power of attorney by specifying when the attorney’s appointment commences, what powers the Attorney has and providing the Principal has capacity, the Principal can revoke the attorney’s appointment.
You can elect to start the enduring power of attorney immediately, or when your attorney thinks you need help managing your affairs, or when a doctor provides evidence that you need assistance managing your affairs.
The person or people you appoint as your power of attorney should be someone you trust absolutely, given the powers they will have.
An enduring power of attorney is just one estate planning document you may consider putting in place to prepare for the future.
We will look at what an enduring guardian is in our next article.
If you're not sure where to get started, or it's time to update your existing Estate plans, give our friendly team a call on (02) 6331 2911. We're here to help!
Shanaya Stapleton | Solicitor