Top 6 Powers of Attorney Questions

A Powers Of Attorney is a legal document that gives a trusted person the legal authority to act for you and make legally binding decisions. If you do not have a Powers Of Attorney, you should contact us and get more information.

The 6 Top Questions Below Relate To Powers Of Attorney.

Circumstances When the Powers Of Attorney Is Particularly Useful:

  • To get rid of the day-to-day demands of financial paperwork and record keeping;
  • As a safety net to allow someone to handle their affairs while travelling or in their absence;
  • To avoid burdening family or friends with the responsibility of taking care of their affairs; or
  • If you are unable to manage your prosperity or financial matters.

Does The Attorney Need To Be A Lawyer?

The person appointed does not require legal qualifications – you can appoint anyone, however the decision to be made on the person to be appointed should be carefully thought out as you are giving them considerable power.

An ideal lawyer should:

  • Integrity;
  • Be ready to act in that capacity;
  • There is potential in areas of relevance;
  • Be able to act like a business;
  • Being able to set aside the time required for work;
  • Live in the area in which they work;
  • Confidentiality of the donor (person giving power of attorney) agreed to respect the confidentiality of the cases; and
  • To be fair and there is no known conflict of interest.

Are There Different Types Of Powers Of Attorney?

Yes, there are two types:

A General Power Of Attorney is:

  • Only when you have legal capacity;
  • Useful if you are moving away for an extended period and you do not want the authority to continue should you lose legal capacity; and
  • Usually prepared for a specific purpose with specific or general powers.

And a Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) which:

  • It continues to be legalized even if you lose legal capacity due to disability or illness;
  • May empower its attorney to make financial, property, lifestyle, and health decisions;
  • Can be activated when needed or loss of legal capacity; and
  • Allows your lawyer to start or continue to manage your affairs, even if you have become unable to give valid instructions.
Powers Of Attorney

Is It Better To Have More Than One Lawyer?

We recommend that you have more than one attorney or a substitute attorney if the appointed attorney cannot act or continue to work, as this allows more flexibility.

Some examples to illustrate why this is useful include: siblings who should work together or you are unsure if anyone should act on their own, or if a lawyer dies or if he cannot do the work, then allow him to continue. This also applies when you appoint a spouse and the spouse dies. You can also appoint a lawyer to act “jointly” (this means that they must agree on everything) or “seriously” (this means that one of the appointed persons can decide alone.)

Should I Pay My Attorney?

It is not necessary to give legal effect to the power, and financial power will usually be considered only if the lawyer is a professional.

How Do I Know If The Person Has Enough Mental Capacity To Make A Powers Of Attorney?

There is no simple formula, but in general terms they should be able to:

  • Understanding the major consequences of the decision;
  • Take responsibility for making that choice; and
  • Make choices based on the risks and benefits that are important to them.

If there is any doubt about the capacity, it is best to contact the medical doctor and ask for a written opinion. Remember, different powers require different levels of understanding. If a medical opinion is sought regarding capacity, it is wise to sign the Powers Of Attorney on the same day as you receive the medical report, so it cannot be claimed later that the appointment was invalid.

In our view, many clients do not recognize the potential benefits (and disadvantages) of Powers Of Attorney.

The Powers Of Attorney may be many. In case of an accident, sudden illness, planned or unexpected absence, or when you simply cannot cope, you may need someone to manage your financial affairs. So it does not matter whether you are old or young, whether in business or not, if you travel a lot or not, there are many benefits in being a Powers Of Attorney.

Call us on 08 8278 8566 to learn more about the Powers Of Attorney and their benefits

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