Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document in which you designate another person to act on your behalf to make decisions about you, your property or financial affairs. It might be for ‘all decisions’ or ‘specified decisions’. Your appointee should be someone you trust to ensure you have peace of mind.
It has been considered as only being required should one become incapacitated. But this is not necessarily so. Extended periods outside Australia at any age could require the appointment of an attorney. A POA can be initiated for short periods of time if you are incapacitated or absent. On regaining your status or returning you will act for yourself. The most common time to establish a POA comes with advanced age. It should be reassuring as it is an instrument to protect your rights.
If you do not have a POA and a time comes when you can no longer handle your affairs, someone will need to apply to the government in your state of residence to appoint someone to act on your behalf. You can purchase POA kits from most Newsagents, Australia Post Offices and on-line.
I first appointed my attorney many years ago on my first extended period travelling and living overseas. Although my attorney has never acted on my behalf I alert him when something comes up so he can be ready if needed.
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