Anthony Weber - Partner, Coles Miller


by on 19th Apr 2012


AnthonyLike making a will, it's one of those things people don't like to think about, but, what happens if you become mentally incapacitated in the future and are unable to make decisions about your affairs or personal welfare?

You can now legally appoint one or more people of your own choosing to safeguard your affairs by means of a Lasting Power of Attorney. This will relieve the stress and uncertainty for your loved ones in the future and, you can rest assured that your welfare will be in the hands of those you most trust.

There are two types:

Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

If you become mentally incapacitated and do not have a Power of Attorney in place, any assets in your sole name will effectively be frozen until a Court confirms the appointment of someone to take control. This will take some months and by comparison is very expensive. In the meantime your spouse and financial dependants may experience serious financial hardship.

Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

This type of LPA enables your chosen attorneys to make decisions for you such as, consenting to or refusing medical treatment, deciding where you should live and if necessary, the most appropriate kind of accommodation and level of care for you.

Careful considerations should be given to whom you appoint. In particular, whether you can trust them to use your money only to meet your needs and will make decisions solely in your best interests? How well the person looks after their own financial affairs? And of course, will they be happy to take on the responsibility?

It is normally a good idea to appoint more than one person to help limit any potential abuse and diminish any potential misunderstanding between family members.

An officially drafted legal document can incorporate any conditions, limits and guidance which you consider appropriate. It will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.