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Learn more about Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are legal documents that let you appoint someone you trust to manage your financial affairs, or make certain personal decisions for you, such as where you live and how you are cared for. Professionals such as trustee companies (like State Trustees) and solicitors can also be appointed, but usually are only able to be appointed for financial matters, not lifestyle and medical matters.

Powers of Attorney FAQ's

  • What is a Power of Attorney?
    A Power of Attorney lets someone else make important decisions on your behalf when you need it the most. This can be a trusted relative, friend or an organisation like State Trustees.
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  • Types of Power of Attorney
    There are three different types of Powers of Attorney. Enduring Power of Attorney (financial), Enduring Power of Attorney (personal) and a Supportive Attorney.
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  • Why have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
    When you have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, you control who is able to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to, including when you no longer have decision making capacity.
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  • When should I get professional advice?
    You should seek professional advice when your needs or circumstances are complicated.
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  • When can my appointed Attorney start making decisions?
    You can nominate whether your attorney is able to use the powers you have given them immediately or when you are unable to make decisions for yourself, or from a specified time, circumstance or occasion.
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  • When should I make a Power of Attorney
    A power of attorney can be made by anyone over the age of 18 whilst they have decision making capacity.
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  • What decisions can my Enduring Power of Attorney make?
    The powers the person you appoint will have will depend on the type of appointment. An enduring power of attorney for financial matters enables your attorney to make decisions that relate to your financial or property affairs including any legal matters relating to those affairs. An enduring power of attorney for personal matters enables your attorney to make decisions that relate to your care and personal welfare.
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  • When does an Enduring Power of Attorney end?
    Various events may bring a power of attorney, or the powers of a particular attorney, to an end. For example, the power will no longer be effective when you revoke it, or when you die.
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  • What is capacity?
    A person is said to have capacity (known as ‘decision making capacity’) if they understand the nature and effect of a decision. They need to understand information that is relevant to a situation or decision. You will need to be able to retain information to be able to decide and you must effectively be able to communicate the decision.
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  • I have been nominated as an Attorney
    The decisions you make as an attorney will depend on the type of appointment, and whether there are additional restrictions in the document.
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  • How and when may I revoke a Power of Attorney?
    You can revoke your power of attorney at any time when you have capacity to do so by telling your attorney and collecting and destroying the original documents under which your attorney was appointed.
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  • Will my Power of Attorney remain valid if I move to another State or Territory within Australia?
    In general terms, if you move from one State or Territory to another, the power of attorney from the original State or Territory will remain valid.
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  • Will my Power of Attorney remain valid if my Attorney moves to another State or Territory within Australia?
    The validity of a power of attorney is not impacted by your attorney’s move interstate. However, as a matter of practicality, if your attorney no longer lives close to where you live, they may have difficulty fulfilling their role.
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