What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of Attorney allows you to formally give someone else the power to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf. If you become unable to make your own decisions this will allow a trusted party in your existing support network to make important decisions for you.
Both types represent formal agreements between the person granting the power (the “principal”) and one or more people accepting the power (the “attorney(s)”).
An attorney under a Power of Attorney is distinct from an executor under your will, as an executor is only able to handle the distribution of your assets after death.
To make a Power of Attorney you must be an adult capable of making your own medical and financial decisions. this means that you must be capable of:
- Understanding the nature and effects of your decisions;
- Freely and voluntarily making those decisions; and
- Communicating those decisions in some way.
You must also be able to understand the nature and effect of your Power of Attorney including the contents of the document, the consequences of preparing the documents and when the power will begin.
Generally, there are two types of Power of Attorney:
- General Power of Attorney; and
- Enduring Power of Attorney.
General Power of Attorney
A General power of Attorney (a “GPA”) allows someone to make financial decisions on your behalf for a specified period, for the duration of a specific event or for a specified purpose.
A GPA is used while you have the capacity to make your own decisions, and will be cancelled as soon as you lose that capacity. A GPA is useful, for example, where you are planning to travel overseas and require someone to conduct your affairs during your absence.
Enduring Power of Attorney
If you become too ill to make choices about your medical treatment and Enduring power of Attorney (an “EPA”) will allow your attorney to make decisions on your medical and financial behalf.
An EPA may begin immediately on signing or only commence on your loss of capacity. Once commenced, the power granted under the EPA will endure until terminated by you, the unwillingness of incapacity of the nominated parties to act as your attorneys, or your demise.
The experienced and friendly solicitors at NQ Legal can assist you in preparing your Power of Attorney. To book an initial interview with one of our solicitors telephone (07) 4721 0488 or visit our fees page for pricing information.
Power of Attorney form | Enduring Power of Attorney Form | Solicitors Townsville Queensland