What is an Enduring Powers of Attorney?
A power of attorney in NSW allows you to appoint a person to make decisions for you in relation to your financial matters. The term, ‘attorney’ is given to those people making financial decisions for you.
When authorising the ‘attorney’, they are able to deal with your property and assets in the following way:
- Sell, or mortgage real estate
- Lease real estate
- Access financial information you possess
- Sell your personal belonging
- Deal with your bank accounts
- Sell or buy shares.
If you wish, you could also specify any additional powers the attorney may have when dealing with your financial matters. An additional power can include the making, varying or renewing superannuation binding death nomination.
What is the difference between an Enduring Powers of Attorney and a General Powers of Attorney?
When you lose your capacity to make decisions, the General Powers of Attorney is terminated, and the Enduring Powers of Attorney continues to operate. When a medical professional confirms that you have lost capacity, the Enduring Powers of Attorney is authorised to take over your financial affairs.
What happens if you don’t have an Enduring Powers of Attorney?
We never know what life brings our way. Anyone can lose their capacity to make decisions whether temporarily or permanently. This can result to a number of reasons including dementia, brain damage or illness.
If you don’t have an Enduring Powers of Attorney and you have lost your capacity to make decisions, your family members or friends can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an ‘attorney’ to be appointed.
This process can be lengthy and not ideal as the Tribunal may appoint a person you would not have otherwise chosen to be appointed. Further, the appointment is not a permanent appointment and is only valid for a limited period. This means that your family or friends may have to re-apply to the Tribunal for an ‘attorney’ to be appointed.
What if you own property in different States or Territories?
It is not uncommon for people to have property in different States or Territories, and while it is not uncommon for different States or Territories to recognise your Enduring Powers of Attorney, it is also not uncommon for people to prepare Enduring Powers of Attorney for each State or Territory.