Powers of attorney

If your client had an accident or suffered an illness, who would make financial decisions on their behalf?

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows your client to nominate someone they trust to make financial decisions on their behalf if they become unable to do so.

A popular misconception is that a person’s partner can make financial decisions and manage that person’s assets. However, unless a formal power of attorney has previously been granted, these decisions may revert to a government agency instead. Having a power of attorney in place lets your client nominate the person they want to make the decisions; it basically protects their interests.

Depending on state and territory laws, as well as a client’s circumstances, a power of attorney can operate in different ways:

  • A general power of attorney allows someone to make financial decisions on behalf of your client for a limited time only (for example, if they are away on holiday or for a particular purpose).
  • An enduring power of attorney is the most common form and empowers someone to make financial decisions on behalf of your client. Unlike a general power of attorney, it comes into force on a specific direction from your client or when they lack mental capacity, and remains in place following their loss of capacity.

How we work with you

One of our estate planning lawyers can work in partnership with you to establish a power of attorney for a client, giving them peace of mind that someone they trust will manage their financial and legal affairs when they can no longer do so.

For more information on powers of attorney, please call us on 1800 882 218.

By having an estate plan in place, you can be sure that your assets will be managed and distributed the way you want and in the most tax-effective manner.

Meet the Estate Planning Team

Peter Hewish

Head of AET Estate Planning

Sydney office

Jennifer Petrovska

Estate Planning Lawyer

Sydney office

Jennifer Wilson

Estate Planning Lawyer

Brisbane office

View all members in our Estate Planning Team.View team