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Power of Attorney - more important than a will?

Most of us have a pretty fair idea what a Will is all about and the importance of a Will.  What about a Power of Attorney?

Most of us would like to die peacefully in our beds – going to sleep one night and not waking up in the morning.  However, those of us over 50 know that for every person you can name who died that way you can name at least five more who did not but instead died after an accident or stroke, or who for a considerable period of time before their death suffered  Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or some other disability whereby they were not “with it”.

In the circumstances such as those outlined above, a person will not have the mental capacity to manage their own financial affairs and someone else has to do so for them.

If the person has not previously appointed someone as their attorney to do this, then there will need to be a hearing with the New South Wales Public Trustee and Guardian and it could well be the case that the person’s financial affairs end up being managed by someone who is chosen for them rather than someone they choose.  You can avoid this happening to you if you have in place a Power of Attorney appointing someone to be your attorney in such circumstances.  We suggest you think about this sooner rather than later.  If you would like to discuss this with us, you can contact us by phoning (02) 6971 0336 or by clicking here for our email form.

Author - Tom Pottenger