What is are powers of attorney?
Sometimes in life we need somebody else to manage our affairs: either because we are unable to due to a sudden or long-term illness, or for other reasons, such as being abroad. A power of attorney gives another person the authority to act on your behalf.
There are two types of powers of attorney: a general power of attorney and an enduring power of attorney.
Enduring power of attorney (EPA)
An enduring power of attorney gives another person (the attorney) the right to make decisions for you if you become mentally incapable.
If you become mentally incapable, then your attorney will made decisions for you such as what treatment you should get and where.
Most people think that if they become mentally incapable then their partner or spouse can make decisions for them. That is not the case. In fact, for those decisions to be made a lengthy and expensive court process is required if no EPA is in place.
General power of attorney
A general power of attorney gives another person power to look after your affairs for the matters specified in the power of attorney. For example, if you are going overseas for an extended period you might wish to appoint a family member as attorney to look after your home. That person can sign documents on your behalf and deal with the property – say to let it out – while you’re away. You can appoint more than one attorney, who can be anyone over the age of 20 and you are not prevented from continuing to act on your own behalf while an attorney is appointed.
Give us a call for a no cost discussion about whether or not powers of attorney are right for you.