Power of Attorney
What is a Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is a document given from one person to another to act on their behalf should they, through illness or long absence (e.g. overseas travel), be unable to manage their own financial affairs.
When should I appoint a Power of Attorney?
If you are planning to be away from home for an extended period of time or you are reaching an age where you may become incapable of handling your own affairs you should appoint a Power of Attorney.
It is often best to appoint a Power of Attorney at the same time as you make your Will.
Who should be my Power of Attorney?
Spouses should give each other Power of Attorney in case one becomes seriously ill or incapacitated. As an alternative, an adult member of the family or a close and trusted friend would be acceptable. You can have one or more persons acting as your Attorney.
Why do I use Cutlers The Law Firm?
John and Kathy had prepared Wills and thought they were covered. The Wills said if either died, their assets would revert to the survivor. John suffered a stroke, leaving him on life support, physically and mentally incapacitated.
If John had died the Will would have come into effect, however because he was alive Kathy may have had no access to their joint monies, could not sell the house etc. Kathy had to ask a Government body every time she needed money.
How humiliating, time consuming and annoying.
IT IS WISE TO MAKE YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR WILL.
IT IS ALSO MORE ECONOMICAL DOING BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.
Appointment of Enduring Guardian
What is an Appointment of Enduring Guardian?
An Appointment of Enduring Guardian is a document given from one person to another to make medical decisions and decisions about lifestyle and care for them, in the event they are unable to manage their own affairs. If you lose the ability to make your own decisions, your Guardian can make the following decisions on your behalf:
- to decide where you live;
- to decide what health care you receive;
- to decide what other kinds of personal services you receive;
- to consent to the carrying out of medical or dental treatment on you.
When should I appoint an Enduring Guardian?
You should usually appoint a guardian at the same time as you make your Will. It is crucial that you make an Appointment of Enduring Guardian before you risk losing capacity to make decisions about your health and care. If something happens to you and you lose the capacity to make those decisions for yourself, it is then too late to make the document. We recommend making the document well before you anticipate needing to rely on it as there is no expiry date on the document and it is
simply better to have it as a safety net in the event something unexpected happens to you.
What is an Advanced Health Care Directive?
An Advanced Health Care Directive forms part of the Enduring Guardianship we prepare for you. It sets out your direction to your Guardian about medical intervention and treatment that you wish to receive (or not receive) in the event you suffer from a particular class of medical conditions and cannot participate in decisions about your medical care.
This document can be particularly beneficial to assist your family and loved ones in challenging circumstances as it means they can carry out your wishes as set out in the document without guessing at what you would want them to decide. It is also a document which health care providers will acknowledge as a statement of your preferences.
Who should be my Guardian?
Spouses should appoint each as their Guardian in case one becomes seriously ill or incapacitated. As an alternative, an adult member of the family (such as a child or children) or a close and trusted friend would be acceptable. You can have one or more persons acting as your Guardian.
Why do I use Cutlers The Law Firm? Case Example
John and Kathy are a married couple with two adult children, Tony and Marie. John passes away and Kathy is diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s. Tony and Marie do not get along. Tony wants his mother to live in a care facility near him on the Central Coast, but Marie wants to move her mother to a care facility in Sydney so she is closer to her. Tony and Marie cannot agree on any decisions about their mother’s medical care or living arrangements. Tony is the elder child and knows that his mother wanted to stay on the Central Coast if she was ever this ill. He doesn’t think Marie will visit their mother even if she is in a care facility in Sydney.
If Kathy had made an Appointment of Enduring Guardian nominating Tony as her Guardian, the arguments would have been avoided as Tony would have had the sole power to make decisions for his mother’s well-being. Instead, Tony has to apply to the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal to be appointed as a Guardian for his mother. This is a long and stressful process and one that Marie can challenge. It is then up to the Tribunal to make a determination as to who should be the Guardian for Kathy.
Contact us to make an appointment with an experienced Solicitor.