What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints a person to manage your financial and legal affairs while you are alive. This person will be known as your attorney.

There are two types of Power of Attorney:

  • Ordinary Power of Attorney
  • Enduring Power of Attorney

Ordinary Power of Attorney

An ordinary Power of Attorney only has effect while you have capacity to make your own decisions. If you do happen to lose your capacity, the ordinary Power of Attorney will no longer have effect.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney continues to have effect even if you lose capacity. You may wish to appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney to ensure that someone of your choice will look after your affairs even when you are unable to do so yourself.

What decisions can your attorney make?

Your attorney can make decisions about your financial and legal matters on your behalf. For example, they will be able to access your bank accounts, access your documents, and sell or lease your property. However, you can impose limits on what your attorney can do when making the Power of Attorney.

Your attorney cannot make decisions that relate to lifestyle, health or welfare. These decisions can only be made by you or your appointed guardian. If you would like to appoint someone to make decisions about your welfare and lifestyle on your behalf, you may wish to appoint an Enduring Guardian.