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Powers of Attorney

If you or someone you know loses capacity, they may need assistance in managing their finances and property. A power of attorney will be required.

Powers of Attorney are powerful and important documents. A power of attorney enables a trusted person or organisation (such as the NSW Public Trustee or trustee companies) to deal with the person’s finances, property, other assets and legal affairs on their behalf.

This may be necessary if you lose the capacity (temporarily or permanently) to make these decisions for yourself. Even if you own property with someone else, they are unable to deal with it without you, unless you have given them power of attorney.

It is important that the person(s) appointed attorney are trusted individuals.

It is important they are aware of their obligations and duties imposed on them in being your attorney. An attorney cannot benefit themselves (except under very limited circumstances). They must act in your best interests. They must keep their own money and property separate from yours. They must keep records.

We can assist if you think someone is misusing a power of attorney. We can also implement strategies to assist in limiting the risk of the power of attorney being misused.

A power of attorney does not allow someone to make decisions as to where they should live, what health care they receive or any end of life decisions. You need an Enduring Guardianship in order to make these decisions.

A power of attorney can take effect immediately, or it may only take effect if the person lacks capacity to make decisions or deal with assets themselves.

If someone has already lost capacity, we can assist in obtaining financial management orders, if required.

If you think abuse is or has occurred, we have experience in commencing legal action in the Supreme Court to stop the abuse or seek compensation for it.

Enduring Powers of Attorney – Information for Attorneys