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Power of Attorney

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Your Power of Attorney

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Power of Attorney Page of
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GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
Under the Powers of Attorney Act 2006, Section 92, for section 13

[Explanation:
"principal" means the person making this power of attorney.
"attorney" means the person who is authorised to act for the principal.]

Instructions and information:

  • This power of attorney may be registered at the Registrar-General’s Office. If the
    attorney is to act in relation to a land transaction, this power of attorney must be
    registered.
  • Any part of the form that is crossed out must be initialled by the principal.
  • It is recommended that the principal, or a person who is directed by the principal to sign,
    initials at the bottom of each page of this power of attorney.

  1. Appointment of attorney/attorneys

    I, [insert name] ____________________

    of [insert address] ____________________, ____________________, Australian Capital Territory

    appoint:

    [insert name] ____________________

    of [insert address] ____________________, ____________________, Australian Capital Territory

             and

    [insert name] --------------------------------------------------

    of [insert address] --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    to be my attorney/attorneys.

    NOTE: If you are only appointing one attorney, cross out the word "and", and the two lines
                after it.
    *             See Notes at the end of this form.

  2. Multiple attorneys

    I appoint my attorneys to act:

             [     ] together
             [     ] separately
             [     ] in the following manner:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indicate whether you want the attorneys to act together and separately, in any combination, or in any other manner (such as different attorneys to act in different circumstances, on the happening of different events or in relation to different matters).

    NOTE: Cross out the options that do not apply.
    *             See Notes at the end of this form.

  3. Directions, Limitations and conditions

    My attorney/attorneys shall only exercise power under this power of attorney, subject to the following directions, limitations and conditions:
    ___________________________________________________________
    ___________________________________________________________

    NOTE: If this section does not apply, cross out.

  4. Commencement

    This power of attorney commences
             [ X ] Immediately
             [     ] From ………………………(specify date or the happening of an event)
    NOTE: Cross out whichever that does not apply.

  5. Statement of Understanding and Signature

    I fully understand that, by making this power of attorney, I authorise my attorney/attorneys to act on my behalf in accordance with the terms set out in this power of attorney. I also understand the nature and effect of making a power of attorney.
    [*  see Notes at the end of this form.]

    (a) Signature………………………………………………………Date: ____ ________________ ________
                          [Signature of Principal]

    OR

    (b) I directed:

    Name: __________

    Address: __________

    to sign this power of Attorney on my behalf.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          [Signature of another person signing in the presence of and by the
                          direction of the principal].
    *             See Notes at the end of this form.

  6. Certificate of witness

    Only one witness can be a relative of the principal or the attorney. [A child, the person signing this power of attorney for you or the attorney cannot be a witness.]

    Witness 1

    I, ____________________
    [insert full name and occupation]

    of __________
    [insert address]

    AND

    Witness 2

    I, ____________________
    [insert full name and occupation]

    of __________
    [insert address]

    certify that the principal:
         a) signed this power of attorney in my presence voluntarily; and
         b) at the time the principal signed this power of attorney, the principal appeared to me to
         understand the nature and effect of making it.
    OR (if a person signed on behalf of the principal)
         c) the principal directed the person to sign the power of attorney for the principal;
         d) the principal gave the direction voluntarily in my presence and the person signed this
         power of attorney in the presence of the principal and me;
         e) the person signed the power of attorney in the presence of the principal and me; and
         f) the principal appeared to me to understand the nature and effect of making this power
         of attorney.


    NOTE: Cross out (a) and (b) if a person signed on behalf of the principal. Otherwise, cross out (c), (d), (e) and (f).

    Witness 1
    Signature………………………………………………………Date: ____ ________________ ________

    Witness 2
    Signature………………………………………………………Date: ____ ________________ ________


NOTE: Obligations of the attorney include the following:

  1. Unless authorised expressly under this power of attorney, you must avoid transactions which result, or may result, in conflict between your duty to the principal; and either the interests of you, or your relative, business associate or close friend of the attorney; or another duty of you may have.
  2. You must notify other attorneys when you resign as attorney or your authority is revoked. You must notify other attorneys and any one who has had dealings with you as the principal’s attorney, about any court or tribunal matter that has effect on your authorisation.

NOTES

Section 1, Appointment of attorney/attorneys

  • You may appoint an adult or an entity other than an individual (e.g. a corporation) as an attorney.
  • If you want to appoint more than one attorney and you want your attorneys to have the same functions, then you should fill out this form by inserting the names of all of your proposed attorneys in the place indicated.

Section 2, Multiple Attorneys

  • This section relates to the appointment of two or more attorneys. If you are only appointing one attorney, then cross out this section and put your initials beside any writing you have crossed out.
  • If you want to appoint more than one attorney and you want your attorneys to have the same functions, then you should also indicate whether you want them to act:
    • together - they will only be able to act if they all agree on the course of action; or
    • separately - each of them will be able to act independently.
  • You may appoint attorneys to act together and separately or in any combination, and you may also authorise different attorneys to act in different circumstances, on the happening of different events, or in relation to different matters.

Section 3, Directions, Limitations and conditions

  • If you want your attorney to exercise power for any specified purpose or specified purposes, indicate it in this section.
  • You may also indicate in this section whether you want this power of attorney to end on a particular date or event.

Section 5, Statement of Understanding and Signature
Understanding the nature and effect of making a power of attorney includes understanding each of the following:

  1. that the principal may, in the power of attorney, state or limit the power to be given to an attorney;
  2. that the principal may, in the power of attorney, instruct the attorney about the exercise of the power;
  3. when the power under the power of attorney can be exercised;
  4. that, if the power under a power of attorney can be exercised for a matter, the attorney has the power to make decisions in relation to, and will have full control over, the matter subject to terms or information about exercising the power that are included in the power of attorney; and
  5. that the principal may revoke the power of attorney at any time the principal is capable of making the power of attorney.

Section 6, Certificate of witness
If needed, you can direct a person to sign the document on your behalf. This person must be at least 18 years of age, not a witness to this form of appointment, and not someone you are appointing as your attorney. You should give this direction to sign on your behalf in the presence of the witnesses.

Power of Attorney Information

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney, sometimes called a POA, is a document that individuals use to allow another person to make decisions on their behalf regarding their finances, business, and personal matters. In certain jurisdictions (e.g. Australian Capital Territory and Queensland), a Power of Attorney will give someone the authority to make decisions regarding a person's health care as well.

Depending on your situation, you have the option to create a general or enduring Power of Attorney and add specific directions, limit certain decisions, or set conditions that need to be met before an action can be made.

LawDepot's Power of Attorney template can be customised for:

  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  • New South Wales (NSW)
  • Northern Territory (NT)
  • Queensland (QLD)
  • South Australia (SA)
  • Victoria (VIC)
  • Western Australia (WA)

Who is involved in a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney generally involves two parties: the principal and the attorney.

The principal is the individual who created the Power of Attorney and who is allowing another individual to make decisions on their behalf. In some instances, this person will be called the donor.

The attorney is the individual who was appointed by the principal to make decisions for them. This person can be any trusted individual (e.g. a family member, friend, accountant, lawyer, etc.) so long as they are:

  • A legal adult
  • Of sound mind (meaning they are mentally capable of making decisions and signing legal documents)
  • The owner, operator, or employee of a nursing home or extended care facility where the principal lives

As well, an attorney shouldn't be someone who has not been discharged from bankruptcy (meaning they have not yet been released from their legal obligation to repay their debts).

A lawyer may also be involved to review the POA form for legal reasons or to act as the principal's attorney, if the principal chooses them to act on their behalf.

What is the difference between a general and enduring Power of Attorney?

Both a general and enduring Power of Attorney allow you (as a principal) to appoint another person (your attorney) to act on your behalf. However, there are differences between when a general POA or an enduring POA can be used and what causes them to end. The following section sets out the definitions and clarifies the differences of each:

General Power of Attorney
  • This type of POA is used when a principal is capable of making decisions for themselves but can't due to reasons such as unavailability (e.g. extended travel, out-of-town work, etc.). It is sometimes called an ordinary Power of Attorney.
  • An attorney can start using a general POA immediately after it is signed by the principal or on a certain date, if that date is included in the document.
  • Unless otherwise specified in the document, a general POA ends on a specific date (if a date is included), when it is revoked (typically by using a Revocation of Power of Attorney), or if the principal becomes incapacitated
Enduring Power of Attorney
  • This type of POA is generally used when a principal is unable to make their own decisions due to incapacity (meaning the principal is physically or mentally impaired and does not have the ability to make their own decisions, perform their own actions, etc.). However, it can still be used when a principal is not incapacitated (similar to a general POA). It is sometimes called a durable Power of Attorney.
  • An attorney can start using an enduring POA immediately after it is signed by the principal, on a specific date (if one is included in the document), or, in some jurisdictions, after a triggering event like incapacitation.
  • An enduring POA ends when it is revoked (typically by using a Revocation of Power of Attorney) or if the principal passes away.

You may also see limited Power of Attorney. A limited POA is not its own type of POA form; it is used to indicate that the attorney has the power to act on some decisions as opposed to all. In most jurisdictions, signing a POA (general or enduring) will give an attorney the ability to act on your behalf regarding finances, business, health care, and/or personal matters without restriction. To restrict your attorney's decision-making authority, you must set limits in your POA.

What does a POA allow an attorney to do?

A Power of Attorney form will allow an attorney to perform actions or make decisions regarding your:

  • Finances: You can allow an attorney to invest money on your behalf, pay bills and/or taxes, rent or sell your home, collect income, and more
  • Business: Your attorney can hire employees for a business you own, sell your business, and more
  • Personal matters: Your attorney can decide where you live or who you live with, which foods you should eat, or if you can go to school or work; whether or not a POA allows an attorney to make personal decisions on behalf of a principal depends on which jurisdiction the POA will be used in
  • Health Care: Your attorney can consent to certain medical treatments (within reason) or medical donations and more; whether or not a POA allows an attorney to make medical decisions on behalf of a principal depends on which jurisdiction the POA will be used in

Who signs a Power of Attorney?

To be valid, a Power of Attorney must be signed by the principal while they are still mentally competent and capable of making their own decisions. Under select circumstances, it is acceptable for another person to physically sign the document for the principal (e.g. if they have a physical limitation preventing them from signing themselves) so long as the principal is mentally competent at the time it is signed.

Another person (who is called a witness) must be present when the POA is signed and include their contact information on the form. A proper witness is:

  • A legal adult
  • Mentally capable of making their own decisions (i.e. of sound mind)
  • Not the principal's attorney or anyone else who has the legal authority to sign documents on the principal's behalf

Keep in mind, in certain jurisdictions, such as Queensland, witness requirements are stricter and only a Justice of the Peace, Commissioner of Declarations, Notary Public, or lawyer can witness an enduring Power of Attorney for it to be considered a valid document.

Related Documents:

  • Revocation of Power of Attorney: revoke a person's ability to make decisions on your behalf after creating a Power of Attorney
  • Last Will and Testament: dictate how you want your estate to be divided and any other important instructions (like child guardianship) for after you pass away
  • Codicil: add, modify, or remove clauses from an existing Last Will without creating a new one
  • Affidavit: create a sworn statement to confirm something is true, such as your ability to act as an attorney for a principal
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