Enduring Power of Attorney NSW is one of the two types of Power of Attorney documents. A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a person, or trustee organisation the authority to act on an individual’s behalf. It allows a person/ trustee organisation to manage the individual’s assets, and make legal and financial decisions on their behalf.
There are two types of Power of Attorney documents – the Enduring Powering of Attorney in NSW and General Power of Attorney.
This article will explore aspects related to the Power of Attorney document, and will specifically focus on Enduring Power of Attorney NSW.
Purposes Of Power Of Attorney
Before we delve into the meaning of enduring Power of Attorney in NSW, let’s understand why a Power of Attorney (PoA) is important. Most importantly, it is good to have this document in place in case of unfortunate events such as an illness, or disability.
The illness can impair a person’s decision-making capacity. This is why the PoA is important because it appoints someone else to handle important legal and financial matters on the person’s behalf.
It is better to appoint someone trustworthy as they will be handling personal information and looking after personal affairs.
There are other reasons why a person may appoint a PoA, including if he/she:
- Is moving abroad, or travelling elsewhere;
- Wishes for a financially experienced individual to manage his/her affairs;
- Loses capacity (either temporarily, or permanently) due to an illness, disability or injury.
What Exactly Does The PoA Do?
Given below is a list that includes some of the responsibilities that a PoA will have:
- Paying bills;
- Operating bank accounts;
- Buying or selling real estate;
- Managing investments;
- Signing legal documents whenever required;
- Collecting rent and other credit
Notably, an Enduring Power of Attorney in NSW handles only financial and legal matters. Individuals will need an Enduring Guardian for other matters like medical decisions, healthcare, lifestyle etc.
What Is Enduring Power Of Attorney In NSW?
As mentioned above, there are two types of PoA documents i.e. an Enduring Power of Attorney in NSW and a General Power of Attorney.
An Enduring Power of Attorney in NSW is the legal document that allows an individual to appoint a person or trustee organisation to look after financial and legal affairs on their behalf. Importantly, an Enduring Power of Attorney continues even if an individual loses the ability to make decisions for themselves.
On the other hand, a General Power of Attorney does not continue even after an individual loses their ability to make decisions due to an illness or injury. The legal document lasts only while the individual who has appointed an attorney still has the capabilities to make his/her own decisions.
A General Power of Attorney is generally used if a person has to travel abroad, and needs someone else to look after their personal and financial affairs.
Importance Of Enduring Power Of Attorney NSW
An individual will feel more at peace and will have certainty if he/she has an Enduring Power of Attorney in NSW. Having a PoA helps those who are worried about their future.
In the unfortunate event of the individual losing their capacity to make decisions, their Enduring PoA can make them feel comfortable as they take care of all their matters.
In case there is no Enduring PoA to act on the individual’s behalf, the Supreme Court may appoint another financial manager who can handle all affairs for the individual. However, since this financial manager will be an outsider, it is highly likely that the individual will not feel fully comfortable and assured.
Therefore, it is always better to appoint a PoA, especially an Enduring PoA who will continue to manage legal and financial affairs even if the individual suffers from some disability, illness or injury.
How To Appoint A PoA?
Generally, individual needs to fill a form and subsequently sign the form to appoint a PoA. The individual has to be over 18 years of age. The form needs to be signed, and an authorised witness must be present.
According to the Power of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW), the following people qualify as authorised witness for this purpose:
- Solicitors and barristers;
- Licensed conveyancers;
- Employees of the Public Trustee; and
- A Registrar of the Local Court.
It is important to assess whether they will act in your best interests. It is ideal to appoint someone or an organisation (like the NSW Trustee & Guardian) that:
- Respects your rights to confidentiality;
- Has appropriate level of financial skills for tax and financial planning purposes;
- Keeps records of all transactions and dealings for future reference;
- Will not engage in behaviour that will harm you;
- Keeps their money and finances separate from yours and behaves professionally
When appointing someone, you really need to consider whether that person has your best interests in heart. You can appoint someone like a family member, your solicitor, a close friend etc.
Importance Of Seeking Advice From Lawyers
There are many things to consider when you appoint a person to manage your legal and financial affairs. It must be someone you can trust and who will represent your best interests.
When filling the form, it is important to obtain a lawyer’s advice and guidance so that you fill the form accurately.
These matters are also interlinked with estate planning and making Wills. Therefore, it is essential to finalise all these matters at the same time. Estate planning lawyers can help individuals with Power of Attorney documents as well as estate planning.
Moreover, there are certain tax implications that people need to be aware about. This is related to identifying potential tax consequences and minimise tax implications.
At JB Solicitors, we offer all services to help everyone who is looking to finalise their estate planning matters.
Contact our estate planning lawyers today.