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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 for you when you need it the most. The person you choose 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 say who can make decisions for you when you are not able to. For example, when you are not able to make decisions yourself anymore because of an accident or illness.
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  • When should I get professional advice?
    You should ask for professional advice if your needs or situation are complicated.
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  • When can my appointed Attorney start making decisions?
    You can choose whether your attorney can use the powers you give them straight away or when you are not able to make decisions for yourself. You can also choose a particular time, situation or occasion for their powers to start.
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  • When should I make a Power of Attorney
    Anyone over the age of 18 can make a power of attorney. However, you must have capacity and be able to make your own decisions.
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  • What decisions can my Enduring Power of Attorney make?
    The powers your attorney has will depend on the type of appointment you have chosen. An enduring power of attorney for financial matters means your attorney can make decisions about your financial or property affairs. This includes any legal matters about those affairs. An enduring power of attorney for personal matters means your attorney can make decisions about your care and personal welfare.
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  • When does an Enduring Power of Attorney end?
    Particular events can end a power of attorney or end the powers of a particular attorney. For example, when you revoke (cancel) a power of attorney, or it will end when you die.
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  • What is capacity?
    A person has capacity (known as ‘decision-making capacity’) if they are able to understand what a decision means and the effects the decision can have. They need to be able to understand information about a situation or decision. Part of having capacity, is being able to remember information so that you can make a decision. You must also be able to clearly communicate your 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. They will also depend on whether there are other restrictions in the document.
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  • How and when may I revoke a Power of Attorney?
    You can revoke (cancel) your power of attorney at any time. You just need to tell your attorney and collect and destroy the original powers of attorney documents. To do this, you must have capacity, meaning you are able to make your own decisions.
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  • Will my Power of Attorney remain valid if I move to another State or Territory within Australia?
    Usually, if you move from one state or territory to another in Australia, your power of attorney will still be valid.
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  • Will my Power of Attorney remain valid if my Attorney moves to another State or Territory within Australia?
    Your power of attorney will still be valid if your attorney moves interstate. However, if your attorney doesn’t live close to where you live anymore, it may be difficult for them to do what they need to as your attorney.
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