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Powers of Attorney

Appoint the right person to manage your affairs

What is a Power of Attorney?

Powers of Attorney are legal documents that give another person (or people) the power to handle your financial affairs.

Your attorney can:

  • Pay your bills
  • Operate your bank accounts
  • Sign legally binding documents on your behalf
  • Buy and sell your real estate
  • Manage your investments and collect rent.

The most common reason to make a Power of Attorney is to assist if you lose capacity to make your own decisions in the future (for example, from a loss of mental capacity from Alzheimers or dementia, or through an accident that leaves you physically incapable of managing your financial affairs). 

Powers of Attorney can also give someone the power to handle your financial affairs if you are going overseas for an extended period.

Who should I appoint as my Power of Attorney?

It is very important to choose the right person to be your attorney.  You can appoint more than one attorney, which can sometimes provide an additional level of protection. Typically, you would appoint your partner, children or a close family friend.

Your attorney is legally required to act in your best interests. Legally they cannot:

  • Use your money to benefit themselves, or someone else
  • Disregard your views, wishes and existing relationships, values and culture
  • Breach your confidentiality

You can place limits on what your attorney can and can’t do, and they must keep accurate records of what they do on your behalf.

Your attorney cannot make lifestyle or health decisions on your behalf. You should consider appointing a guardian.

Powers of Attorney do not give the Attorney the power to make your health and lifestyle decisions.  For this reason, usually a Power of Attorney is made in conjunction with an Appointment of Enduring Guardianship (which does deal with health and lifestyle decisions).  You can appoint different people for each document. Our estate planning solicitors can help you appoint a guardian.

How much does a Power of Attorney cost?

We charge a fixed fee of $120+GST for single people, or $180+GST for a couple. 

Preparing a Power of Attorney should be considered alongside other estate planning documents including preparing a Living Will, Will and Appointment of Enduring Guardian.

To find out more about our full estate planning services, contact us.

Protect yourself and your family

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