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What is a power of attorney?

Power of Attorney

A person who makes a power of attorney gives someone else legal authority to act on their behalf in financial decisions.  This is a very large responsibility and you should make sure you have complete trust in your attorney and that you are sure they are trustworthy and responsible.  You can only grant a power of attorney if you are of sound mind. If you are giving someone power of attorney for you,  you should know that:

  • You do not have to give any one your power of attorney
  • You are giving your attorney complete legal authority to make decisions for you and to act for you
  • Your attorney can do anything with your property without your permission, even things you may not want them to do like taking money from your bank account or buying things or selling your home
  • You are responsible for any decisions your attorney makes on your behalf
  • You can revoke a power of attorney at any time.

You can make your power of attorney general so your attorney can act in any financial matter for you, or you can make it only to deal with specific matters like selling a house if you are overseas.

Make sure you seek legal advice before you make any decisions about a power of attorney. A power of attorney is different from an enduring guardianship which is to appoint someone to make lifestyle and health decisions for you.

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