Why choosing the right person to act for you under your Power of Attorney is crucial8-August-2019 Guardianship By Jamal Bakalian
Appointing an Attorney under a Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, may be among one of the most important decisions of your life. It is important to remember that the person you choose has to agree to take on the role of your Attorney.
A Power of Attorney is also commonly referred to as a POA, and an Enduring Power of Attorney is often referred to as an EPOA.
At Streeterlaw, we can provide you with the following helpful tips on how to carefully choose the right person for this incredibly important job.
Now, take this opportunity to close your eyes, and clear your mind of all life’s stresses. Try to picture the first person who comes to mind when you think about who you think you could trust to be your Attorney under a Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney. Now that you have this person in your mind, ask yourself the following questions about them:
- Will this person act in your best interests?
- Will this person obey your directions?
- Can you trust that this person does not have a conflict of interest and will not act in a bias way?
- Will this person be too overwhelmed with the responsibility of the role?
- Will this person act within the limits or conditions that you place in your Enduring Power of Attorney document or Power of Attorney instrument?
- Will this person be able to keep accurate and proper records of all their dealings with your finances or property?
- Will this person be able to keep their finances and money separate from yours?
- Can you trust that this person will not give themselves or other people any gifts or benefits using your finances, unless you specifically authorise this? (as we saw in Domenico Taverniti (As Executors Of The Estate Of Domenico Taverniti) -V- Taverniti  WADC 59 (20 April 2016).
- Will this person respect your confidentiality?
- Can you trust this person to respect your wishes even if you lose capacity?
In addition to the above considerations, something for you to think about, particularly in the case of making an Enduring Power of Attorney, which may not come into effect for some time in the future, is whether the person is much older than you. You will need to ensure that the person you appoint under an Enduring Power of Attorney will survive you and will be able to take on the role when required.
The risks associated with making the wrong choice when appointing someone to act for you under a Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney instrument, are very high. There are many cases in NSW and Australia where Attorneys under a Power of Attorney document and Enduring Power of Attorney instrument either did not act in their Principal’s (you) best interest, or misused funds, and were not able to properly account for their spending of their Principal’s (your money) – this could have disastrous affects for you, your other family members, or for your Estate. That is why it is so important to select the right person to act for you from the very beginning.
Need help preparing a Power of Attorney?
At Streeterlaw we take great care in ensuring our clients feel supported to make the right choices, taking into account all of the relevant factors and considerations that may affect them. Contact one of our experts at Streeterlaw today, to help you answer any questions you may have about the process of preparing your Power of Attorney document or Enduring Power of Attorney instrument. Allow Streeterlaw to give you the support you deserve.
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