A Power of Attorney is a legal document which permits another person the authority to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf (“the donee”).
A Power of Attorney can be used in several ways – from having the donee to take care of your affairs whilst travelling to times of extended illness.
An Enduring Power of Attorney takes this a step further and enables the donee to continue in the role if you are later found to have diminished mental capacity due to injury or illness. Unless revoked this arrangement remains in place as long as you live.
Powers of Attorney can be prepared in two ways – to come into effect immediately and to continue once the donor suffers a loss of capacity; or to come into effect at a future time (such as the onset of mental incapacity).
In order to sign a Power of Attorney, the donor must be capable of understanding the nature of the document that he or she is signing and its effect.
The donee must be prepared accept the appointment in writing.