How do I make a Power of Attorney?

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When you make a Power of Attorney it can be made in different ways.

The principal rule is that when you make a Power of Attorney it must be made in the approved form pursuant to the provisions of the Powers of Attorney Act 1998. However certain Powers of Attorney will be valid as long as there is substantial compliance.

It is important to recognise that with most Powers of Attorney the formal requirements to create the Power of Attorney must be strictly adhered to. This includes compliance with requirements relating to:-

(a) eligible Attorneys;

(b) eligible Witnesses.

Whilst Power of Attorney documents can be obtained either online or at shops it is not recommend that you create such an important document on a DIY basis. There are many pitfalls that can result in a Power of Attorney have no legal effect.

Although there is a “Standard Form Power of Attorney” it is not a document that will meet everyone’s needs. Typically Powers of Attorney must be crafted in their terms to ensure that they are legally effective for the desired purpose. For example a “Standard Form Power of Attorney” does not:-

(a) between a husband and wife, allow the Attorney to deal with any jointly owned property including the family home;

(b) authorise specific types of transactions (e.g. Superannuation);

(c) permit and authorise dealing with digital assets including Facebook and other social media accounts.

If you want to make a Power of Attorney it is recommended that you obtain legal advice from your Solicitor. They will be able to ensure that the needs of yourself and your family’s circumstances are specifically protected by crafting the document to meet your needs.

Contact Malcolm McColm at MMLaw today to make an appointment to discuss your estate planning needs or to get clarity on your “next steps”.

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The content published in this Blog is in the form of academic papers and the opinions expressed herein are generalised. The information provided is for educational purposes, not specific legal advice.

The application of any principles referred to can alter from case to case and accordingly you should seek independent legal advice in respect of your individual circumstances.

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