In the event that you need someone to manage your financial and legal affairs, a Power of Attorney can prove invaluable.

If you are travelling overseas, or otherwise incapable, a Power of Attorney can be worth so much more than the paper it’s written on.

Nothing spoils a holiday faster then being required to personally attend to documents for:

  • banks;
  • government agencies;
  • financial institutions;
  • Self-Managed Superannuation Funds;
  • Family Trusts;
  • nursing homes.

A Power of Attorney grants your attorney the power to manage your assets and financial affairs while you are alive.

You can be as specific or general as you wish in granting this power to your attorney.

For instance, specific powers might include:

  • varying access to your bank account;
  • signing legal documents on your behalf;
  • buying or selling things for you; or
  • trading investments in your SMSF.

A Registered Power of Attorney allows your attorney to sell a real estate asset for you.

An Enduring Power of Attorney means the power will continue past the point in time when you may no longer be deemed to have mental capacity to give instructions, eg through dementia or accident. Your attorney is bound by law to always act in your best interests.

While you have capacity, this can mean only acting on your instructions. Unless specifically authorised, your attorney cannot gain a benefit from being an attorney and must act honestly in all matters concerning your legal and financial affairs. Failure to do so may incur serious fines, and civil or other criminal penalties.

Should you, a relative or a friend, require assistance with a suitable Power of Attorney or any other estate planning advice, please contact Bay Legal on 02 9344 0682 or office@baylegal.com.au.