We suggest that an enduring power of attorney is prepared at the same time as a Will.
What is a General Power of Attorney?
A general power of attorney is an important legal document which gives one or more attorneys the legal authority to look after your financial affairs including dealing with your assets and making financial decisions for you, including signing documents on your behalf.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An enduring power of attorney gives one or more attorneys the same legal authority as a general power of the attorney, with the difference being that an enduring power of attorney continues when you lose your mental capacity. Hence the term ‘enduring’.
What happens if I don’t have an enduring power of attorney and I lose my capacity?
If you lose your mental capacity and you don’t have a power of attorney, no one has the legal capacity to deal with your assets and make financial decisions on your behalf. This could obviously have serious consequences and cause substantial disruption at a difficult time for your family. That being said, if you have a spouse and have a joint bank account, your spouse will be able to access money that way.
The NSW Guardianship Tribunal can appoint a financial manager. This can be a time consuming procedure and may provide an outcome that is not what you want.