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What "powers" does my Attorney have?

Wednesday 19th of February 2020
By: Emmy Langmaid, Solicitor, Coote Family Lawyers

You always work so hard to help and support me. I'm so very grateful to have you, you're just like family.

We encounter many myths and misconceptions when acting for clients preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney as part of their overall Estate Planning.

By executing an Enduring Power of Attorney, you can authorise another person to make decisions regarding financial and personal matters on your behalf.  

What are financial and personal matters?

Financial matters involve anything relating to your financial or property affairs, including any related legal matters.  This includes things like paying expenses on your behalf, receiving money payable to you, carrying on a trade or business on your behalf, undertaking real estate transactions on your behalf and withdrawing/depositing money from your bank accounts.

Personal matters, on the other hand, mean any matter relating to your personal or lifestyle affairs, including any related legal matters.  This includes decisions such as where and with whom you live and associate and whether you work and/or undertake education or training.

The rights and responsibilities given to your Attorney are clearly quite broad, however, they are by no means unrestricted.

What can’t an Attorney do? 

The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic) specifically provides that, amongst other things, your Attorney cannot:

  1. Make or revoke your Will;
  2. Make or revoke your Enduring Power of Attorney;
  3. Vote in an election (local, State/Territory or Commonwealth) or referendum on your behalf;
  4. Consent to the entering into or dissolution of your marriage or sexual relationship;
  5. Make or give effect to a decision about the care or wellbeing of your child, or about the adoption of your child;
  6. Enter into or agree to enter into a surrogacy agreement on your behalf;
  7. Consent to the making/discharge of a substitute parentage order;
  8. Manage your Estate on your death; or
  9. Consent to any unlawful act.

If you would like to discuss your options in relation to appointing an Attorney to make financial and personal decisions on your behalf, contact our Wills and Estates Department today on (03) 9804 0035. 

We have partnered with Automio to make executing your Enduring Power of Attorney easier and more affordable than ever before.  Click here to get started today.

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