In New South Wales a Power of Attorney is used to appoint someone to make financial decisions on your behalf, such as selling your house or operating your bank accounts, whereas an Appointment of Enduring Guardian is used to appoint someone to make health and living arrangement decisions.
When does it start?
You can choose when you want it to start. If you don’t make it clear when you want it to start, then it will commence when your attorney signs the document to accept their position.
Who should I talk to about it?
It’s really important that you discuss these documents with a lawyer who can give you professional advice about your particular circumstances. It’s also vital that you discuss your wishes with your family to avoid unnecessary conflict and stress.
Do I need a witness?
Yes, these documents need to be witnessed by a solicitor/conveyancer or a registrar of a Court and cannot be witnessed by your attorney.
Who should I appoint to be my attorney or guardian?
You need to appoint someone you trust to make the right decisions. You can appoint more than one person if you wish, and you can specify exactly how they make their decisions – jointly or separately. For a Power of Attorney, make sure that the person you appoint has the necessary skills to deal with your finances.
What are the legal responsibilities of my attorney?
They are legally responsible to you and must act in your best interests. While you have the mental capacity they must obey your instructions. They cannot give gifts to themselves or to anyone else unless you specifically authorise this and they must keep their finances and money separate from yours, keeping accurate records of all of their dealings with your money.
Can I change my mind?
Yes, as long as you still have the decision-making capacity to do so you can revoke or change these documents. This has to be done in a legally binding way, however, so please seek legal advice.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation.
What is an appointment of enduring guardian?
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian (AEG) gives you peace of mind in nominating someone you trust to make lifestyle and medical decisions for you lost the capacity to decide for yourself.
In NSW to appoint somebody to make personal and medical decisions you need to execute an Appointment of Enduring Guardianship document. This is a lifetime document. It takes effect during your lifetime and is null and void after your death.
Some examples of the sort of decisions your Guardian can make are:
Do I really need one?
We recommend these for our clients as without one, if the unlikely did happen, it is possible a government tribunal will appoint someone you wouldn’t have chosen to make these decisions for you.
It’s much better to have chosen the person yourself. It is also possible if you make a full recovery you would be stuck with the decisions made by the tribunal. What a nightmare!
Get in touch with us to learn more or organise a consultation.