A power of attorney is a legal document which gives authority to another person (known as the attorney) to make certain financial decisions and sign certain documents on behalf of the donor. Powers of attorney can grant extremely wide and discretionary powers to the attorney. Quality and experienced advice from a Probate Lawyer or Estate Solicitor is crucial if you intend to grant a power of attorney or are asked to act as an attorney. Our Power of Attorney Lawyers have extensive experience preparing and registering deeds of powers of attorney.
There are several kinds of powers of attorney; they share the same main features but are used for different purposes. The powers may be limited to just a short period of time or to just certain affairs, or they may be enduring or irrevocable and remain in effect after the appointer lacks mental capacity. The main advantage of a power of attorney is that the donor’s affairs will be managed by the attorney if the donor is unable to administer them personally, such as if the donor goes overseas, becomes ill or becomes mentally incapacitated. In some circumstances, the power of attorney will need to be registered with the Land and Property Information Department in order to be valid.
Feature of Powers of Attorney
There are a number of important features of powers of attorney, including the following:
- Decisions of the attorney when acting on behalf of the appointer are taken to be decisions of the appointer (although there are circumstances where this is not the case, for example where the attorney acts outside their powers);
- The appointer must have the appropriate mental capacity to grant the power of attorney; and
- The donor must be at least 18 years of age.
Duties of the Attorney
Powers of attorney are extremely powerful legal instruments. As such, the law prescribes various duties upon the attorney which may not be expressly stated in the power of attorney deed. These include:
- The attorney must act in good faith;
- The attorney must avoid conflicts of interest or disclose conflicts of interest to the donor; and
- The attorney must not exceed the authority granted by the power.
Obtaining quality and thorough legal advice from a Probate Lawyer or Estate Solicitor is vital if you intend to appoint an attorney or if you are asked to act as an attorney. Further to offering the ability to prepare a power of attorney on your behalf, we also offer free and secure storage of wills, powers of attorney and enduring guardianships.
Arrange a consultation with one of our experienced Probate Lawyers or Estate Lawyers today. Other than our head office in Sydney CBD, we have branch offices conveniently positioned across the Sydney metropolitan area. For a full list of our office locations, with complete addresses, click on our "Locations" tab above or contact our main office line on (02) 9233 4048.
This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.
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