Power of Attorney
We all accept that ones health can fail or one could be involved in a serious accident.
You could be too ill or injured to make choices about your medical treatment or could suffer a disability (such as a stroke) that prevents you from communicating your own health care, personal or financial decisions, for example, where you want to live and the control of your finances or sale of your assets.
Whilst a Will controls your assets after you have died, an attorney appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney looks after you whilst you are alive. Your attorney can do for you most things that you can normally do for yourself. You can decide who can act as your attorney (and, if more than one person, how eg: jointly, successively or by majority) and whether their power is to begin immediately, on a specific date or only on incapacity for financial matters.
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint one or more individuals to act on your behalf under certain circumstances. The person making the Enduring Power of Attorney is referred to as the principal, and the person appointed is known as the attorney.
Under the Powers of Attorney Act the principal may appoint an attorney for financial issues or for personal/health issues. He or she may appoint the same attorney/s for both issues or different attorneys for each.
An attorney can only make decisions about a principal’s health care and general welfare if the principal does not have the capacity to do so.
An Enduring Power of Attorney ‘endures’ even after a principal has lost capacity to make decisions, whether that be a permanent or temporary loss.
A General Power of Attorney is valid only whilst the principal has power to make decisions for themselves, and would usually be used for specific purposes. For example it may be short term whilst the principal is travelling, or it may be used for business or company purposes.
Contact us if you require assistance in the:
Preparation of a Power of Attorney;
Amendment or revocation of a Power of Attorney;
- Determination of rights regarding the obligations arising from a Power of Attorney.
By your appointing who you want as your attorney(s) under an Enduring Power of Attorney you assist your family and/or friends because otherwise they would need to bring a tribunal application to be formally appointed to enable them to adequately assist you.
Advanced Health Directive
You may also make an Advance Health Directive which details your health care wishes in certain circumstances.