APPOINTING A PERSON TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS
Powers of Attorney is the appointment of a person giving them legal authority to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. It is an important part of making a will and often overlooked in the process.
Your Power of Attorney does not solely act on your behalf in the event of your death. In fact, the Power of Attorney can extend to allowing a person to manage your financial affairs in the event that you have an extended trip overseas, or at a time when you no longer have the mental capacity to make your own financial decisions.
There are two (2) types of Power of Attorney:
- General Power of Attorney – which ends when you lose the capacity to make your own decisions; and
- Enduring Power of Attorney – which continues to have effect when you lose the capacity to make your own decisions.
The following people are able to be appointed under the Power of Attorney:
- The Office of the NSW Trustee and Guardian; and/or
- A person nominated by you.
As the person will be in charge of looking after your property or financial affairs, it is important to appoint a person who you can trust.
Most documents to fill out to appoint of Power of Attorney can be obtained at your local post office, or at the Office of Land Registry Services.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Given that the enduring Power of Attorney continues to remain in effect after you have lost the capacity to make your own decisions, your Enduring Power of Attorney document must be signed and witnessed by an authorised witness. Under the Power of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW), the following people are able to witness these documents:
- Solicitors and barristers;
- Employees of the Public Trustee;
- Licenced Conveyancers; and
- A Registrar of the Local Court.
In addition, the witnessed must explain the following to you before signing the enduring power of attorney, such as:
- Explaining the effect of the Power of Attorney; and
- Certify that you understand the effect of the Power of Attorney.
You will also need to being suitable proof of identification documents, which can include birth certificate, passport, Driver’s license, or Medicare card.
In some circumstances, you do not need to register your Power of Attorney. However, if your Power of Attorney requires you to deal with property in NSW, then you will need to register your Power of Attorney to the NSW Land Registry Services and pay the applicable registration fee.
If you are unsure whether you need a Power of Attorney, or would like to know more about the process about the Power of Attorney, contact JB Solicitors today for an initial consultation.