What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document. It allows you to appoint a person to make decisions about your assets. The POA deals with your assets e.g. real estate and bank accounts.
What can't the POA do?
The POA is an “economic” document. Your POA does not deal with your health, medical treatment or lifestyle. To do this, instead build a Medical POA on our website. Also, the person receiving your EPA cannot:
* vote in any elections
* make a Will
* sign another POA
* act as a Trustee
* control your body (you need to build a Medical POA on our website for that)
However, the person receiving your EPA, can open and close bank accounts, pay debts, and buy and sell land. This is provided it is in your 'best interests' to do so.
How does the person receiving my POA actually use the Power of Attorney?
Here are some examples:
Example 1 - Using your bank account
The persons you appoint walk into the bank and present to the bank clerk with your Savings Account book and an original POA. Your bank clerk stares blankly at them. He sees his bank manager. The bank manager explains to the bank clerk that those persons “now stand in your shoes”. They can do whatever you could do with the bank account. The bank manager asks to take a copy of the POA for future reference. The bank manager tries to keep the original POA but the persons you nominate decline and get back the original POA. The transaction on the bank account takes place.
Example 2 – Signing your legal documents
You tell the persons that you nominated, to sign a lease agreement. You are on holidays overseas and email is unavailable. Your attorney contacts the landlord. They:
1. tell the landlord that there is a POA
2. tell the landlord that they are signing the lease on your behalf
3. they sign in their usual signature area and write under the signatures “signed as attorney for *your name* under a POA dated ## Month, year”.
You are now bound to the lease. The landlord may photocopy the POA to attach to the lease.
Do I need an Enduring POA in every State I live in?
Becuase Australia is a federation of States each State has its own Enduring POA. For example, a Victorian Medical POA only works while you are in the State of Victoria. If you live in two States then you need to build the first Enduring POA. And then build the second as a second document. (You can carry over the answers from the first document into the second document, to save you having to answer the questions again.)
For legal advice telephone us. We are a law firm. We can help you answer the questions as you build your POA.
Adjunct Professor, Dr Brett Davies, CTA, AIAMA, BJuris, LLB, LLM, MBA, SJD
Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors
Australia wide law firm
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