A Power of Attorney enables someone else to look after your affairs. There are two types – an ordinary power of attorney, and an enduring power of attorney.

An ordinary power of attorney enables someone to act for you if you don’t want to act yourself, or are unable to. Usually this type is used if you are going overseas, and enables the attorney to act for you, manage your bank account, sign documents, etc while you are away. This type of power of attorney only remains valid while you have full legal capacity. 

An enduring power of attorney enables the attorney to act for you if you become mentally incapable. There are two types of enduring power of attorney – one relates to property and one to personal care and welfare.

The property enduring power of attorney can come into effect immediately and continue in effect if you later become mentally incapable, or you can choose to have it come into effect only if you become mentally incapable. It can relate to all your property, or can be limited to apply only to some of your property. 

The enduring power of attorney as to personal care and welfare will enable someone to make decisions as to your care and treatment in a rest home or hospital. 

At the same time as you arrange a personal care and welfare enduring power of attorney, you may also wish to talk to us about a living will. Although a living will has no legal effect, it is a good indication to your welfare attorney and doctors just what sort of treatment you would want, for example, if you were on a life support system.