Our trusted Lawyer Phillip Briffa from PB Ritz Lawyers is helping us understand, what is an Enduring Power of Attorney and the importance of having one in place.

Power of Attorney – Who Needs One?

Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney is a special legal document which enables you to nominate one or more persons (referred to as your “attorneys”) to make financial decisions on your behalf should you lack the ability to make those decisions yourself.

  • What kind of decisions can your attorneys make on your behalf?

Your attorneys are empowered to manage your financial affairs, which includes paying your bills, operating your bank accounts and managing your investments, amongst other things.  Your attorneys can also be empowered to use your financial resources to pay the living and medical expenses of your dependents.

  • When does my attorney’s power come into effect?

Your attorney’s authority over your financial matters can commence: (A) immediately; (B) on the date of your choosing, or (C) only when you lose the ability to make your own financial decisions.

  • Who can be your attorney?

Generally speaking anyone over 18 years can be your attorney.

  • Will you lose your rights if you make an enduring power of attorney?

No.  For as long as you are capable of making your own financial decisions you can continue to do so.

  • Will the enduring power of attorney affect your will?

No.  Your enduring power of attorney operates separately from your will and is used while you are alive.

  • What happens if you haven’t made an enduring power of attorney?

If you lose the ability to manage your financial affairs and you haven’t made an enduring power of attorney there will be nobody with legal authority to manage or make decisions about your property and finances.  Your family may have difficulty managing your investments and accessing your bank account to pay your bills.  If your home needs to be sold (for example, to pay for you to move into residential aged care) only someone appointed by an enduring power of attorney can do this.  A relative or another person may need to apply to the Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the Supreme Court to have a financial manager appointed for you. This process can be expensive and time consuming.  Also the person selected may not be the person you would have chosen.

Who Needs One ? We all Do

For further assistance, please contact Phillip on 02 8959 5436 or pbriffa@pbritz.com.au