Many people plan ahead and appoint a person to manage their financial affairs and make financial decisions on their behalf.

This decision involves preparation of a document to allow such actions to be taken. You may ask your lawyer to prepare either a general power of attorney or an enduring power of attorney.

A general power of attorney is made so that you appoint a trusted friend, or family member or your accountant or your lawyer to make financial decisions on your behalf. You may wish to buy or sell property or pay the bills or you cannot physically get to the bank to operate your own accounts.

This appointment could be for a specific reason or for a limited time or on a long term basis.

For example:

  • You may be absent from your home overseas or interstate, or
  • You may be unwell, or
  • You may simply wish that another person should make those financial decisions and perhaps sign documents on your behalf.

An enduring power of attorney appoints someone to begin − or continue − to make decisions for a person when they no longer have the capacity to make their own decisions about their financial affairs such if they suffer from dementia. A general power of attorney will not continue if you lose capacity unless this is stated in the document and the document is properly made as an enduring power of attorney.

By instructing a lawyer to prepare an enduring power of attorney you eliminate the need for your friends or family members having to seek orders from the Guardianship Tribunal that you are no longer capable of making decisions and require a guardian to be appointed to take over your affairs.

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