POWERS OF ATTORNEY

A number of law firms utilise Paralegals to provide advice on Estate Planning. At Esposito Lawyers, a Lawyer will be providing legal advice, managing your file and drafting your will/power of attorney.

A power of attorney form is one of the most important documents a person can sign.  It is important to understand the power that can be appointed by a principal to their attorney(s)  within the documents.

You are able to appoint one or more attorneys and to decide how they are to operate, alone, jointly or severally.  If you appoint multiple attorneys and do not specify how they are to operate then they will be required to operate jointly.

When considering who to appoint as your enduring attorney(s) for either financial or personal/health matters, you should have implicit trust in them, and if you have any reservations, you shouldn’t appoint them at all.

GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

A general power of attorney is used when you want someone to act as your attorney for financial matters while you have capacity.  The power of attorney cannot be used if you lose capacity.

You can determine when the power of a financial attorney(s) begins; immediately on signing the document, at some future time set out in the document.  You can explain or limit the powers of your attorney(s).  If you do not specify any limits to the powers of your attorney(s) then your attorney(s) will be taken to have the maximum power that could be given to them.

ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY

Where a principal is appointing different attorneys for financial and health matter an enduring power of attorney (long form) is used.  When a principal is appointing the same attorney(s) for financial and health matters an enduring power of attorney (short form) is used.

You can determine when the power of a financial attorney(s) begins; immediately on signing the document, at some future time set out in the document, or if you lose capacity.  When you appoint a personal/health attorney, their power can only commence when you have lost the mental capacity to make such decisions yourself.

You can explain or limit the powers of your attorney(s).  If you do not specify any limits to the powers of your attorney(s) then your attorney(s) will be taken to have the maximum power that could be given to them.

It is important that you obtain legal advice prior to signing any power of attorney to ensure you understand the power that is being appointed to the attorney.

ADVANCED HEALTH DIRECTIVE

An advanced health directive is a legal document which expresses your wishes regarding your future health care.  The document does not come into effect until such time as you are unable to make your own decisions.

You decide if the advanced health directive takes effect if you are unable to make decisions for yourself or,  you may want it to only apply if you become terminally ill.

It is a requirement that you seek medical advice.  Your Doctor must complete section 5 of the advanced health directive form. The form is unable to identify all possible future health directives.  IF this is a concern to you, you should consider also appointing a power of attorney to make health decisions on your behalf, for those decisions that may arise which are not provided in the advanced health directive.

Your wishes stated within the advanced health directive form can be changed or revoked at any time that you still have the capacity to make decisions for yourself.