Why do I need Power of Attorney?

Death is one thing, but incapacity or the inability to manage your affairs is something that could occur at any time of life through illness or accident. It is at that time that you may need someone who is empowered to do everything you can legally do for yourself such as sign documents on your behalf, manage your bank account and pay your bills, or make decisions about the management of your affairs. This is where a Power of Attorney comes in handy.

You may have heard the term Enduring Power Of Attorney.  The enduring part of the title means that the power can endure (continue) even after the person who has made the power is unable to make their own decisions about matters.

Powers of attorney can cover three different areas – financial, guardianship and medical. The actual documents available to be made are –

  • Enduring Power Of Attorney, which covers financial and guardianship matters, and
  • Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker

It is easy to understand what financial and medical decisions could be, but what is guardianship? Guardianship is essentially the powers a parent has over a child. If you became a vulnerable person and lost legal capacity through illness or brain injury you may need someone who can make personal decisions for you such as where do you live, what clothes do you wear, who can visit you and what work you can do.

It is possible to experience an accident or illness that may affect your ability to make decisions and manage your affairs. It is therefore appropriate that any person who is 18 years or older considers making an enduring power of attorney.

In addition, having an enduring power of attorney in place that enables the person or people your point to do everything you can legally do for yourself may be useful where you are traveling or are away from him for work for long periods.