Until recently, Powers of Attorney have been governed by the Conveyancing Act
1919. The Power of Attorney Bill 2003 was enacted in February 2004 and has
consolidated and revised the legislation relating to Powers of Attorney and make
consequential amendments to the Conveyancing Act 1919.
One of the changes that the new Act will bring relates to enduring Powers of
Attorney, that is, Powers of Attorney that continue to be effective when the
donor suffers loss of mental capacity. Under the new legislation, a Solicitor
will need to sign a Solicitorís Certificate stating that he/she is convinced
that the donor has the mental capacity to sign and not only will the appointer,
or nominator, be required to sign the Power of Attorney, but also the nominated
attorney to accept the nomination.
As these changes are about to occur, now is a good time for you to review
your estate plan, and to take a closer look at what safeguards you have in place
to protect your assets and your family in the event that you are unable to
attend to your financial affairs.
As unpredictable as life is, there may come a time when you are unable to
manage your financial and personal affairs. Accidents and unforseen
circumstances can arise, so it is important you have adequate safeguards in
place, in the event that you are unable or incapable of making financial or
personal decisions for yourself.
Appointing an attorney will give your representative the necessary legal
authority to act on your behalf, ensuring your family is taken care of
financially and your business interests are placed in the hands of someone you
trust. You may appoint an attorney to act for you in a variety of circumstances
such as an overseas or interstate trip, or for a time when you can no longer
physically care for yourself. You may also chose to appoint an attorney who can
act on your behalf even if you lose mental capacity.
To ensure your personal matters and lifestyle decisions are similarly
protected, you may also elect to appoint a guardian who can help you make
personal and lifestyle decisions, and give instructions to health professionals
as to your wishes concerning medical treatments in the event that you are unable
to make these decisions on your own. An enduring guardian may also be of
assistance in providing your loved ones with specific instructions as to what
medical treatments you would like to receive in the event of particular
This Information Outline is provided courtesy of Matthews Folbigg who are experienced in this area of law. They are located at
Level 7 The Barrington, 10-14 Smith Street, Parramatta NSW 2124 or call them on (02) 9635-7966 if you would like
more information on this legal topic, or you wish to obtain formal advice
regarding your situation.
MatthewsFolbigg is a large commercial law firm based in Parramatta, New South
Wales. The firm has Accredited Specialists in Business Law, Property,
Immigration, Family Law and Personal Injury. MatthewsFolbigg has specialist
groups advising clients in corporate structures, intellectual property, and
information technology plus franchising, estate planning and insolvency work.