Most people acknowledge the importance for very elderly people to have Powers of Attorney (POA) in place. But we maintain EVERYONE should arrange for their own Powers of Attorney, no matter what age they are.
Below are some common misconceptions, and our comments on them.
- But I have a Will, so I don’t need any POA.
A Will only comes into effect when you die. A POA operates whilst you are alive, and allows someone to act for you if you are unable to do so. A POA ceases on your death.
- I’ll set up a POA later when I need it.
A POA can only be established whilst you have legal decision making capacity. If you have a sudden accident or adverse change of health, you may not then have the capacity to set up a POA. This could happen at any age.
- I don’t know who to appoint.
If you don’t have a close family member or friend that you can absolutely trust, then you can appoint a professional Trustee Company to act for you. You can cancel and replace a POA at any time, as long as you have capacity at that time.
- Isn’t it very complicated?
The Medical Treatment POA allows for your Attorney to make decisions on what treatment you will receive or not receive, if you are not able to make those decisions yourself. The Enduring POA allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions and implement those decisions on your behalf on financial, personal and lifestyle matters.
- I think I have already done a POA, and it must be somewhere.
Unless the original POA document is available to the Attorney at the time of need, it is unlikely that the intended POA will be usable. Therefore if “lost”, a new POA should be implemented, revoking the old one.
- It’s complicated to do.
There are important matters to be addressed when you set up a POA. You are giving someone your authority to act for you, as if it was you. So yes, you should seek advice from a solicitor to ensure you have considered all issues thoroughly. A booklet and implementation forms is available from the Victorian Public Advocate (we have copies of this booklet at our office if you want one).
- I’ll get around to it soon.
If not now, then when?
This information is based on legislation in Victoria. Other jurisdictions may have some variations in their legislation.
Axios Financial Solutions are a team of respected and highly regarded financial planners with offices on St Kilda Rd Melbourne. Axios helps their clients meet their desired outcomes by providing tailored financial services, strategies, advice and solutions. You can contact them at email@example.com or (03) 9869 5555.
Axios Financial Solutions Pty Ltd (ACN 007 299 014), is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee 234665
Please note that the information in this article is of a general nature only and has not taken into consideration your individual circumstances. Should you wish to discuss your personal circumstances please call us on 03 9869 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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480 St Kilda Road
Melbourne Vic 3004