Granting Powers to Another Person

A power of attorney or enduring power of attorney allows you to grant powers to a family member, friend or trusted person that will only be enabled if you instruct your attorney to act for you or in the case of an enduring power of attorney if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. 

A person can give someone a power of attorney because it’s convenient for them to have someone else helping them or they think their attorney is more capable at managing their affairs, they are overseas, they are undergoing medical treatment, they are recovering from mental health or they are in prison.

Powers of Attorney or Enduring Powers of Attorney?

There are different types of powers of attorney depending on the circumstances.

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is appropriate where a person wants to grant someone financial and\or medical powers for a period of time such as when that person wants someone to help because it’s convenient, they are going overseas, they are undergoing a medical procedure or medical treatment, they have a mental health issue or because of imprisonment.

A power of attorney is revoked if the person who granted the power of attorney loses their capacity on a permanent basis.  For a power of attorney to continue in this circumstance, a person would need to grant an enduring power of attorney.

Enduring Powers of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney allows a person to grant someone financial and or medical powers in the case that they lose their capacity to manage their affairs.  This can occur due to Alzheimer’s disease, a medical condition, cancer, or another disease. 

Once a person loses their capacity to make decisions or manage their affairs, the attorney appointed under an enduring power of attorney will be able to take over and manage the affairs on a permanent basis.

Who can be an Attorney?

As an attorney will have powers over medical and\or financial circumstances, they should be a person of good standing who can be trusted.  An attorney should be known and trusted to a high degree.  A person should never appoint an attorney out of sympathy or because they feel sorry for a neglected family member. 

An attorney should be someone who is responsible, capable, dependable, that can manage their own affairs as well as the appointer’s affairs, that will act in the appointer’s best interests, they have no conflict of interest and are honest.

To be eligible to be an attorney a person must:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Not an insolvent under administration.
  • If the person is going to be a financial attorney they must not have been convicted or found guilty or an offence involving dishonesty (or has disclosed such information to the person granting the powers to the attorney and this has been recorded in the powers of attorney).

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