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What are Powers of Attorney and Why Do You Need Them?

Powers of Attorney are arguably something that every adult should have but very few do.

This article is an attempt to explain what they are in easy to understand language (none of that legal jargon).

Powers of Attorney are important because they give the power to someone you trust to make legal decisions for you if you can no longer make those decisions yourself.

By arranging a Power of Attorney you can ensure that you have someone to rely on to handle your affairs if you become unable to do so (eg: in the case of illness).

Obviously, you should only grant it to someone with whom you have absolute trust.

It is important to note that to grant a power of attorney, you must have the ‘mental capacity’ to do so. This is why it is important to appoint someone before they are needed to avoid hassles down the track.

The main types of Powers of Attorney to consider in Victoria are:

Enduring Financial Power of Attorney

This authorises the attorney to stand in your place and make any financial or legal decisions on your behalf.

By granting an “enduring” power of attorney (as opposed to a “general” one), the relationship still remains in place even if you lose your mental capacity.

Enduring Medical Power of Attorney

An Enduring Medical Power of Attorney gives your nominated attorney the ability to make decisions relating to your medical issues if you are not capable of doing this yourself.

Enduring power of Guardianship

An enduring power of guardianship is a legal document where you (the donor) appoint someone (the guardian) to make personal and lifestyle decisions for you - like where you live and the health care you receive.

Estate Planning Consultation

If you'd like some personal help in this area we do offer Estate Planning consultations to help guide you through the maze. These consultations include discussions around Wills and Powers of Attorney.

Feel free to call us on (03) 9347 4554 for more information.

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Please note that this advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice which does not take into consideration your personal circumstances.