What is a Power of Attorney
in Family Law?
A Power of Attorney allows a person to nominate another (or others) to make decisions about their legal and financial affairs in certain circumstances. This is usually to provide for the event that you are unable to make your own decisions for example following an accident. It can also be used to assist your family to look after you if you are unable to leave the home or are outside the country when legal documents need to be signed.
Getting a Power of Attorney document is as important as getting a Will.
While people often consider what they would like to happen to their assets in the event that they die, they don’t often turn their minds to who would be making decisions for them if they fall ill or have an accident which renders them incapable of managing their own affairs. This is where a Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardian become very important and more important than your actual will. It is possible that a Power of Attorney may be required to act for decades and it’s therefore very important to consider who this person may be and whether they are the right person for the job.
It is advisable to have a lawyer advise you on the options available as to who you should appoint and under which circumstances the Power of Attorney would be operable.
While there is no legal requirement to have a Power of Attorney it is advisable and your loved ones will thank you for it. The importance of a Power of Attorney becomes apparent when you consider what might happen if you didn’t have one. For example, if you do not have a Power of Attorney no-one can automatically access your bank accounts to pay your bills or for your benefit. It might be that the money needed to pay the household bills is tied up in your name and your spouse cannot access it. Having a Power of Attorney eases the process, without one an application would need to be made to appoint an Attorney and this would not be done until quickly.