Good Lawyers for Good People

Enduring powers of attorney - why they matter

April 3

LAW OF THE LAND

With Nick Earl

Have you thought about who would manage your affairs if you were no longer able to do so?

Enduring Powers of Attorney are relevant at any age, but particularly so as we get older and our health is at greater risk of declining.

They are important documents, that provide a simple, cost effective blueprint for your financial affairs and care, should you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Without Enduring Powers of Attorney, your loved ones could end up spending thousands of dollars to put the right legal framework in place after the fact, as opposed to several hundred dollars, if you put them in place yourself when you are still of sound mind.

There are two types of powers of attorney – for property and for personal care and welfare.

A property attorney has the authority to take care of your financial affairs, effective upon signing should you choose, whereas a personal care and welfare attorney becomes effective only if you are deemed to have lost the mental capacity to look after yourself.

If you become incapacitated without having anything in place, applications must be made through the Family Court to appoint a property manager and welfare guardian under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988. This can be a costly, time consuming process during what is already stressful time for families.

By seeking sound legal advice and putting powers of attorney in place before you need them, you can be secure in the knowledge that there is a plan in place should you and your family need it.

 

- Weekend Sun, March 30, 2018

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