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Power of Attorney: What is It?

One term that you've probably heard being bandied about quite a bit is "power of attorney." This is especially common to hear in medical settings, when incapacitated loved ones are unable to make decisions for themselves. Do you really understand what power of attorney is, though? You can learn the basics about how power of attorney works in Australia by checking out the helpful information below.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is an incredibly important legal document. It can be used in a number of different situations to accomplish a number of different things. At its core, though, a power of attorney is a document that authorises another individual to act on your behalf. A basic power of attorney may be warranted if you go overseas for an extended period of time, suffer from ill health or reach an advanced age and don't have the stamina or desire to deal with legal issues yourself anymore.

It is important not to confuse a basic power of attorney with an enduring power of attorney. A basic power of attorney does not allow the authorised individual to make personal, medical or lifestyle decisions on your behalf. At most, it allows a person to sign documents for you and act in your stead in basic legal transactions. If something needs to be signed, the designated individual will be allowed to do it for you; if a decision needs to be made, he can't make it on your behalf.

Enduring Power of Attorney

Enduring power of attorney is the legal document that tends to get the most attention. Unlike a basic power of attorney, an enduring power of attorney isn't something that you'd use in conveyancing in Brisbane or conveyancing in Gold Coast scenarios. Instead, you may set up an enduring power of attorney that would go into effect in the event of your incapacitation, debilitation or if you lose your mental faculties. You cannot enact an enduring power of attorney, though, unless you are currently competent to do so. On the flip side, a basic power of attorney is null if you lose your mental competence.

One of the most common uses for an enduring power of attorney is in medical situations. People often set up enduring powers of attorney in order to safeguard against being kept artificially alive against their will. For instance, an enduring power of attorney can be used to authorise an individual to take you off of life support if it is artificially prolonging your life. Due to the serious nature of an enduring power of attorney, though, it is critical to only appoint the power to someone that you trust wholly and completely.

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