Mental and physical incapacity can hit at any time which is why we recommend planning ahead to ease the potential burden on your family.
Most people are aware they should make a Will, but too few of us know we should also consider making an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) which is a document in which you appoint a person to make decisions about your property or financial affairs if you lose capacity.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) gives the person you appoint legal authority to look after specific aspects of your financial affairs and welfare should you lose capacity to do so. It’s not just for the elderly but also for younger people who may become incapacitated through accident or illness.
If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) in place and later become mentally incapacitated, your spouse or children may face delays and expense in applying to Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to allow access to take to control of your assets and finances and to deal with government authorities such as Centrelink.
Powers of Attorney are designed to be recognised by financial institutions, aged care facilities, local authorities as well as government departments. They are legal documents that can be set up relatively quickly at a reasonable cost.
The person you appoint, under a Power of Attorney, should be somebody you trust (preferably a spouse with a child or children as an alternate attorney/s) and can be any person provided they are over age of 18 and have not been bankrupt.
Attorneys have a serious position and it is their duty to:
- make all decisions in your best interest;
- avoid conflict of interest; and
- discharge their duties as a fiduciary.
If you are considering making an Enduring power Of Attorney, please call us on (03) 5941 1622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.