Competitive fees, fast turnaround, highly experienced power of attorney lawyers on the Gold Coast. We are able to advise at short notice and at fixed costs as to the pros and cons of a lasting power of attorney.
If you are considering whether or not a power of attorney is necessary either for your own personal needs and peace of mind or for a relative who is perhaps elderly or where there are concerns about mental capacity, please contact us for an initial free telephone consultation.
What is a power of attorney and when are they needed and/or used?
There are a number of different types of power of attorney, as described below, but in simple terms, a power of attorney is a legal document whereby a person (the donor) grants legal authority to one or more other people to represent him or her either for general legal matters or in a restricted manner (in terms of what types of matters they can act or for time periods or both).
Life is full of uncertainties, and it is a sensible idea to have plans in place such that people you trust can represent you should something go wrong, and this is one reason to have a power of attorney in place, but other everyday situations are:
providing assistance to the elderly or disabled, who may have difficulties in carrying out day to day tasks such as banking
if someone is going abroad for an extended period and needs matters to be dealt with at home in their absence.
General power of attorney
A general power of attorney is often used for a short term, specific legal situation or need, such as where a legal property owner is abroad but with legal business and documents that need signing in his or her absence, or for limited tasks perhaps, such as for collecting a pension.
More than one attorney can be appointed, as it is worth considering that if only one is appointed, that person may fall ill, and there can be added security in having 2 attorneys, such that each will have a duty to check that the other is complying with the instructions and not overstepping any mandate or acting incorrectly.
There is no legal requirement to formally register this type of power of attorney anywhere, and it can be revoked (cancelled).
Also important to note is that a general power of attorney is automatically void should the donor become mentally incapacitated or die.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Hopefully, you will never need to use your EPA, but preparing one is a way of making sure that, in the event of permanent or temporary mental incapacity, someone of your own choice will be able to represent you. If you do not have an EPA and you are not capable of making your own decisions, it will be necessary to apply to the Court to appoint somebody with authority to handle your affairs. This is a time consuming and expensive application.
Role of Ending Power of Attorney
Making an EPA allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf.
There are 2 types of EPA: Property and Financial Affairs or health and Welfare.
An Attorney’s role under a Property and Affairs EPA can include collecting benefits, paying bills and expenses, managing bank accounts, buying and selling property and submitting tax returns.
An Attorney’s role under a Welfare EPA can include making decisions as to residential and nursing care and consenting to health care decisions.
You can limit the powers that an Attorney has and, if you want, include guidance to help the Attorney in making their decisions. You should appoint someone you trust and in whom you have complete confidence.
Your Attorney must be aged over 18 and not bankrupt. You can appoint more that one Attorney so that both Attorneys have to act and make decisions together.
Jointly/Jointly and severally
You can appoint your attorneys, if there are more than one, to either act jointly, whereby all decisions must be made together or jointly and severally allowing them to each act alone.
What does the power of attorney cost?
Legal fees depend on whether you need a general or enduring power of attorney. With a general power of attorney, given there are so many options and the powers given to or restrictions placed on the attorney vary widely, each case is different. Typically the cost may be around $350.00. With a Enduring Power of Attorney, legal fees are typically around $550.00. If 2 people in a family decide to instruct us, we are generally able to offer a reduction as we may be able to meet with both people at the same time to discuss and ensure the client knows exactly what they want to do and the options available.
If you need legal advice on or an experienced lawyer to draft a power of attorney, either a general or enduring power, please do get in contact.