Wills & Estates
Powers of Attorney
Power of Attorney lawyers in NSW and the ACT
In life planning, a Power of Attorney is as equally important as a Will. This legal document authorises an appointed person (known as an ‘Attorney’) to manage financial and legal affairs on your behalf.
If you are unable to make a decision or perform an action due to being absent from the country or having lost your mental capacity, then your Attorney has the power to act in your best interests. This Attorney should always be somebody you trust, such as a family member or close friend.
Our experienced Power of Attorney lawyers in NSW and the ACT can prepare this vital document to fulfil your needs now and into the future. Enjoy peace of mind knowing life’s most important decisions will be dealt with as you would have wished.
What is a General Power of Attorney?
A General Power of Attorney permits a nominated person to manage your financial and legal affairs while you retain the capacity to make decisions. Crucially, your Attorney will be required to act under your instructions.
This legal document takes effect for only a specified period of time and is incredibly useful for certain circumstances, such as when you are unable to physically attend a particular obligation.
At BDN, our lawyers are here to help you draft a General Power of Attorney document, ensuring it is structured to safeguard your wishes.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises the nominated person to handle your affairs throughout your lifetime – even if you no longer have the capacity to make decisions due to injury or illness.
In the ACT, an Enduring Power of Attorney can manage all decisions (financial, legal, personal and medical) on your behalf. In NSW, this nomination only covers legal and financial decisions. Personal and medical decisions are accounted for under the appointment of an Enduring Guardian.
Whether you are based in Canberra or Queanbeyan, our experienced lawyers can prepare your Enduring Power of Attorney, providing you with reliable, genuine and personalised advice along the way.
Protect your best interests with a Power of Attorney lawyer
Don’t let key decisions surrounding your life’s earnings and future security fall into the wrong hands. While you are permitted to draft this legal document independently, an experienced Power of Attorney lawyer will help to ensure it is both accurate and valid.
At BDN, our trusted lawyers will take the time to understand your distinct values and intentions, guiding you through the most appropriate course of action for your situation. Your Power of Attorney lawyer will:
- Explain each type of Power of Attorney and recommend the best option for your circumstances;
- Fulfil all legal formalities are followed correctly, such as witnessing, certification and acceptance by your nominated Attorney;
- Utilise clear language to specify your wishes and prevent disputes caused by ambiguity; and
- Organise corporate or company Power of Attorney where suitable.
For personalised support with drafting your Power of Attorney, please get in touch with BDN Lawyers.
A Power of Attorney exists while you are alive. Your Will does not come into effect until you die. Importantly, a Power of Attorney will not affect your Will in any way, as it ceases to take effect upon your death.
If you need support with your Will and Powers of Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today.
In NSW, a Power of Attorney enables your Attorney to make decisions in relation to your financial affairs only. If you wish to appoint someone to manage your medical affairs, then you will need to make an appointment of Enduring Guardianship.
Whereas, in the ACT, your Power of Attorney can enable your Attorney to make decisions in relation to financial affairs, as well as health matters.
To appoint a Power of Attorney, you must be:
- Aged 18 years or over; and
- Of sound and capable mind.
In other words, you must have the mental competence to understand the decision you are making when drafting this legal document.
A Power of Attorney must be someone who is:
- Aged 18 years or over;
Trusted to act in your best interests;
- Capable of making sound decisions concerning important financial, legal and property matters;
- Respectful of your wishes;
- In the locality where future decisions are to be made; and
- In good health to fulfil the role’s requirements.
You are allowed to nominate a family member, friend or even your lawyer to be your Attorney. It is also possible to nominate several Attorneys to act together or separately.
Despite its importance, appointing Power of Attorney tends to be a simple process that follows the below steps:
- You will meet with your lawyer to discuss your circumstances, requirements and options for Power of Attorney.
- Your Power of Attorney lawyer will prepare all necessary paperwork for you, explain its implications and confirm that you are of sound mind.
- Your lawyer will act as witness while you and your Attorney sign the form.
- Your Power of Attorney will take immediate effect.
Your Power of Attorney lawyer can serve as the witness.
The Power of Attorney comes into effect as soon as the form has been signed and witnessed.
Depending on the type. A General Power of Attorney terminates according to the terms specified during the appointment, while an Enduring Power of Attorney ceases upon death.
Yes. You may change or cancel your Power of Attorney at any time, provided you retain the mental capacity to make this decision.
If you would like to revoke this legal document, your lawyer will prepare a ‘revocation of Power of Attorney’ form for you to sign and deliver to your Attorney.
Ready to draft your Power of Attorney?
We are here to help. Please contact our Power of Attorney lawyers in Canberra or Queanbeyan and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.