A Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker are essential documents all adults should have.
What’s an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you and otherwise act on your behalf during your lifetime.
What’s the difference between Enduring and General Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney will remain effective even if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions, whereas a General Power of Attorney will cease to be effective once you lose capacity.
Who can appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and has the requisite decision-making capacity can make an Enduring Power of Attorney and appoint an Attorney to act on their behalf.
Can a lawyer assist me with my Power of Attorney?
A lawyer provides advice regarding what is required of an Attorney to help you appoint an appropriate person or people, and a lawyer can provide advice on specific conditions and instructions that you may include in your Power of Attorney to ensure it operates efficiently and as you intend.
Additionally one of the two witnesses to an Enduring Power of Attorney must be authorised to witness affidavits or a registered medical practitioner, and a lawyer meets this requirement.
Tell me more about an Estate Plan
At the core of any Estate Plan are the below critical documents:
- A Will is a document which takes effect when you die. It sets out your wishes including how you wish for your assets to be distributed to your loved ones on your death. An effective Will pays close attention to the appointment of Executors, Guardians for any minor children and to the distribution of your assets. It is vital that your Will is made in accordance with the law to ensure that it is valid and binding at the date of your death. It is important that your Will is regularly reviewed, particularly if there are changes in your circumstances or the circumstances of your intended beneficiaries.
- Testamentary Trusts can also be included in your Will that assist in protecting assets for the benefit of your descendants, or to take care of beneficiaries that have special needs.
- An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal agreement which takes effect during your lifetime on a date you nominate (for example in the event you lose decision making capacity). The agreement allows you to appoint one or more individuals to manage your financial affairs and/or make personal decisions on your behalf. Financial matters include decisions regarding your property and finances. Personal matters relate to decisions as to guardianship and lifestyle affairs.
- An Appointment of Supportive Attorney document allows you to appoint an individual who you empower to support you in making and giving effect to your decisions. The supportive attorney will be authorised to access, collect or obtain information from third parties such as banks, however, you will retain decision-making authority. This may apply where, for example, you have capacity to make the decision but not the physical capability of carrying that decision out.
- An Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker document takes effect when you no longer have the capacity to make medical treatment decisions, either temporarily or permanently. This document allows you to appoint another person to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf should this situation arise.
- We can also assist you in making Advanced Care Directives about your medical treatment to assist your Medical Treatment Decision Makers with your medical treatment decisions. In an advance care directive, you can write either or both an Instructional Directive with legally binding instructions about future medical treatment you consent to or refuse and/or a Values Directive which documents your values and preferences for your medical treatment decision maker to consider when making decisions for you.
How can we help you?
- Wills incorporating testamentary trusts
- Wills incorporating special disability trusts
- Wills incorporating life interests
- Wills incorporating other types of trusts
- Enduring Powers of Attorney;
- Appointment of Supportive Attorney;
- Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Makers;
- Advanced Care Directives (including Instructional Directives and Values Directives);
- Corporate powers of attorney;
- Estate Planning advice concerning options to pass control of your assets in accordance with your wishes; and
- Court Authorised Wills for individuals lacking Testamentary Capacity.
Our Wills and Estates lawyers have extensive experience in all matters relating to Wills and Deceased Estate Administration including drafting or updating your Will, Powers of Attorney, Probate, Letters of Administration and working with large and small estates. Our team of Wills & Estates lawyers also provide their expertise with Estate Disputes including managing conflict within families that can sometimes occur.
If you have any questions about your Will, you need a Powers of Attorney prepared or would like to find out how our Wills & Estates lawyers can assist you please don’t hesitate to contact us on +61 3 9822 8588 or email our team here.