May 3, 2023

In the current COVID-19 world, everyone is feeling a bit anxious and vulnerable. Most of us have spent the past few months isolating in our homes, giving some of us the chance to finally get onto those DIY projects that languished on our to-do lists prior to the pandemic.

Now is also a good time for everyone to consider who they would like to look after them and their affairs if they are unable to do so due to being sick, or other circumstances such as self-isolation/quarantine. This could mean you need someone to go and pay your bills for you because you can’t venture out into the COVID-verse.

A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to act as your attorney so they may assist you with your financial affairs including paying bills, monitoring investments, banking, dealing with real property and managing accounts. This document can be tailored to including limits and conditions on what your attorney can do.

On the other hand, an appointment of enduring guardian allows you to appoint someone to make medical or other healthcare decisions for you if you are not able to do so yourself. This document can also be tailored to include directions to your guardian about the kind of healthcare or medical treatment that you do or do not wish to have.

It is important that the documents are validly drafted and that you appoint someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend. You can appoint more than one person and have them able to act separately or together. You can also appoint someone as an “alternate”, meaning they are a back up to the main person or persons you have appointed in the first instance.

We strongly recommended these documents to people of all ages and circumstances. Unfortunately, if you are to lose capacity and these documents are not in place, you no longer have any control over who may be making decisions for you. It is not simply your “next of kin”.

In these uncertain times, having a power of attorney and enduring guardianship gives you peace of mind knowing that you have control over who can make decisions in your interests if you can’t.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss creating a power of attorney and an enduring guardian, please give our office a call (02) 9976 5222.

This information and information published on our website and social media sites is general in nature and for information and entertainment purposes only.  This information does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  If you require legal advice which takes into account your personal circumstances, please contact us for an appointment.