Enduring power of attorney or an enduring guardian…or both?

Posted on July 1st, 2014

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by Lana Black

Lana Black is a Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay and is part of our Commercial & Property Law team.

A power of attorney is a popular legal document.  A power of attorney enables the grantor (the person giving the power of attorney) to appoint one or more adults (the attorney/s) to have the same power as the grantor to make business or financial decisions for the grantor. It is wise to ensure a power of attorney is enduring, meaning it continues in the event the grantor suffers from unsoundness of mind. A power of attorney can commence immediately after being signed or at a future time. It can also include conditions (for example “my attorney is not empowered to sell my house”) or can be unconditional.

An enduring guardian is a person appointed by the grantor to make personal or lifestyle decisions on the grantor’s behalf if the grantor is not capable of making these decisions himself or herself.  The grantor can give the guardian as many functions as the grantor wishes.  For example, the grantor can authorise the guardian to decide where the grantor should live or what health care and personal services the grantor should receive. The grantor can also give the guardian directions about how to exercise his or her decisions.  For example, the grantor can direct the guardian to consult a particular person on each function whenever possible.

Essentially, a power of attorney enables your attorney to make business decisions for you.  An appointment of an enduring guardian enables your guardian to make lifestyle decisions on your behalf. It goes without saying that you must trust your attorney and/or guardian without reservation.

Your solicitor can advise you in relation to appointing an attorney and/or guardian.

Lana Black is a Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay and practises primarily in residential and commercial property transactions and estate planning and administration.  If you require any assistance in this area please contact Lana Black to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle office.

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