Powers of Attorney

Accidents happen, sudden illness can come on when you least expect it. It’s wise to think about who you can call on, to act in your best interest, if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs.

There are three types of documents used in Australia to appoint others to make certain decisions on your behalf:

General Power of Attorney
Enduring Power of Attorney
Advance Health Directive

General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives one or more people you nominate specific authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. This power to make decisions for you stops if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs. This kind of Power of Attorney is most often used for commercial transactions.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring Power of Attorney continues in the event that you can’t manage your affairs and covers both financial and personal or health decisions. If you have an accident or illness and can’t make decisions for yourself, the enduring Power of Attorney gives decision making power to the person you’ve nominated, so it’s a very important document for everyone, young and old alike.

The kinds of decisions your Attorney can make include:
Financial Attorney: paying bills, dealing with Centrelink, taxation, investments, legal matters and property management
Personal/health Attorney: your living arrangements, your health care, your diet and dress

Advance Health Directives

Advance Health Directives help you plan what medical treatment or health care you would wish to have in the event that you are too ill to make those kinds of decisions for yourself. You can specify exactly what treatment is acceptable to you and what is not or you can appoint an Attorney you trust to make those kinds of decisions on your behalf. You are also able to make any special information known to medical staff through this document, such as allergies to medication or religious beliefs that impact upon the types of treatments acceptable to you.

Without an Advance Health Directive in place there is no legal means to make your wishes known about when to stop or withhold life-sustaining measures, for example CPR to keep your heart beating, assisted ventilation to keep you breathing and being fed through a tube directly into your stomach.

It is a good idea to have both a Advance Health Directive and a Power of Attorney in place. If you become so ill that you can’t make decisions for yourself, these two documents together allow your Attorney to make necessary decisions on your behalf.

When should I make a Power of Attorney or an Advance Health Directive?

Right now, before you need it is the best possible time, especially if you are going into hospital, or if you have a medical condition that could deteriorate and diminish your ability to make decisions.

Talk to Mike Eden and his team today to arrange a FREE consultation.

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Who can make a Power of Attorney or Advance Health Directive?

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.

Eden Lawyers Albury

PO BOX 1384 Albury NSW 2640

02 6023 4303

Eden Lawyers Main Beach

PO Box 195 Main Beach QLD 4217