Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives authority to another person – to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The power of attorney document is a legal document that allows you, the principal, to nominate one or more persons, referred to as attorneys, to act on your behalf. A general power of attorney gives the attorney the authority, if you choose, to manage your legal and financial affairs, including buying and selling real estate, shares and other assets for you, operating your bank accounts, and spending money on your behalf, as well as being able to sign documents on your behalf.
A general power of attorney ceases if you lose your mental capacity after its execution. If you wish the power of attorney to continue if you lose your mental capacity, you will need to use the Enduring Power of attorney prescribed form. An attorney under a general power of attorney cannot make decisions about your lifestyle or health. These decisions can only be made by a guardian, whether an enduring guardian appointed by you or a guardian appointed by the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal or the Supreme Court.
You may set whatever conditions and limitations on your attorney that you choose. An attorney must always act in your best interest. If your attorney does not follow your directions or does not act in your best interest, you should revoke the power of attorney. You or someone on your behalf should inform the attorney of the revocation, preferably in writing. The attorney must then immediately cease to act as your attorney. If anyone else, such as a bank, has been advised about the power of attorney, that person or entity should also be informed of the revocation.