As we age or we lose our partners, we often need some more assistance with our administrative tasks. We may find it difficult to get to a bank to make withdrawals or we may be ill and unable to sign other necessary documents or even cope with the constant attention required to keep our financial affairs running smoothly. Unless steps are taken to ensure that, our affairs are kept running, major problems, can be encountered by family, and loved ones in keeping your affairs from becoming a nightmare and costing a substantial amount of money to resolve.
A financial Enduring Power Of Attorney is a legal document. By signing it, you authorise a person to make financial and legal decisions for you. Simply put, it authorises another person (your Attorney) to carry out various functions for you as authorised by law
This type of Power Of Attorney is used to plan. There are several reasons why you should have an Enduring Power Of Attorney, For example:
a) It can be used for a specific task such as buying or selling property.
b) To anticipate any unforeseen calamity, such as an accident or illness;
c) You are on holidays; or
d) You become unable to make your own decisions
An enduring power of attorney would enable your attorney – the person YOU have chosen – to make financial decisions for you in such circumstances.
Your attorney can make any legal and financial decision that you can make. It can be used to keep your affairs going while you are incapacitated. It is possible to appoint more than one attorney. If you appoint more than one attorney, you must decide whether you want your attorneys to make decisions “Jointly”, which means that both attorneys must agree with the decision they make and both must sign documents or “Jointly and severally” which means that either attorney can make a decision by themselves and separately sign documents.
The power of attorney will last until:
a) You cancel it (you must be mentally competent to do this);
b) You die;
c) You become bankrupt; or
d) The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal cancel it because the Attorney is not using the Power of Attorney in your best interests.
NEED MORE INFORMATION
Behan Legal assists and advises on these important issues. For an appointment, call 03 9646 0344