Powers of Attorney
An Attorney appointed under a General Power of Attorney can make financial decisions on your behalf if, for example, you are overseas or can no longer physically go to banks or Government offices for day-to-day administrative matters. An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to make financial decisions about your assets and handle your financial affairs and this will continue to be effective if you become mentally incapacitated.
You are able to control the power you give to the Attorney by placing limits or conditions in the General or Enduring Power of Attorney. For example, you can give your Attorney limited authority to do specific tasks, such as paying regular bills but not selling property.
An Attorney is in an important position of trust. The Attorney is legally responsible to you and must always act only in your best interests and:
- avoid doing anything as an Attorney which would mean that their interests conflict with your interests;
- obey your instructions while you are mentally capable and any directions you make in the Enduring Power of Attorney;
- act according to any limits or conditions placed on their authority;
- not give gifts or give themselves or others a benefit using your finances unless you specifically authorise this;
- keep their finances and money separate from yours;
- keep accurate and proper records of their dealings with your finances or property.