In Tasmania there are two important documents you should have:
- An Enduring Power of Attorney is used to appoint someone to make financial and property decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
- An Enduring Power of Guardianship is used to appoint someone to make health, medical and lifestyle decisions for you if you can’t make them yourself.
Who can make a Power of Attorney or Guardianship?
Anyone over the age of 18 who has the capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the document, who makes the decisions in the document of their own free will and who can communicate clearly what those decisions are.
When should I make a Power of Attorney & Appointment of Enduring Guardianship?
Before you need them! These documents safeguard your interests in the event of something unforeseen – an accident or illness that robs you of your capacity to make decisions for yourself. It is better to be prepared and confident in knowing that the person you choose will be making important decisions about your money, your living arrangements and your health.
Who should I appoint to be my Attorney or Guardian?
You need to appoint someone your trust to make the right decisions. In a Power of Attorney you can appoint a single person to make decisions, or two people who you can nominate to make decisions jointly or independently. For Powers of Guardianship however you can either appoint a single person to make decisions, or two people who make decisions jointly.
When does it start?
A guardianship appointment only commences if you are unable to make your own medical or personal decisions.
What are the legal responsibilities of my Attorney or Guardian?
They are legally responsible to you and must act in your best interests. Your attorney must manage your estate responsibly and also ensure that you enjoy as good a standard of living as your estate can provide. While you have mental capacity they must obey your instructions. They must keep their finances and money separate from yours, keeping accurate records of all of their dealings with your money.
Who should I talk to about it?
It’s really important that you discuss these documents with a lawyer who can give you professional advice about your particular circumstances. It’s also vital that you discuss your wishes with your family to avoid unnecessary conflict and stress.
Do I need to register my Appointment of Guardians?
Yes, it needs to be registered with the Guardianship and Administration Board.
Can I change my mind?
Yes, as long as you still have the decision making capacity to do so you can revoke or change these documents. This has to be done in a legally binding way, however, so please seek legal advice.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment with an experienced power of attorney lawyer in Ulverstone.