Wills & Powers of Attorney · Additional Resources

Previous Law

Until the 1st June 1998 there were basically two types of Powers of Attorney provided for in the Property Law Act. A General Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney. A General Power of Attorney was valid only whilst the person giving the power was capable of making decisions for themselves. The Enduring Power of Attorney continued in force despite the Principal becoming incapacitated and hence allowed the Attorney to handle the person’s financial affairs notwithstanding the fact that the Principal had become unable to instruct the Attorney. The distinction between general and enduring Powers of Attorney still exists.

Current Law

The Powers of Attorney Act began operation on the 1st June 1998. Under this legislation there are three (3) types of Power of Attorney documents, namely:-

  1. General Powers of Attorney;
  2. Enduring Powers of Attorney; and
  3. Advance Health Directives or Living Wills.

General Powers of Attorney

These documents are similar to the General Powers of Attorney given under the old legislation and can authorise the Attorney to do anything other than exercising power for a personal matter or can be limited to allow an attorney power to act in one specific transaction only. Of course, as this power is not “enduring” it ceases if the principal becomes incapable.

Enduring Powers of Attorney

The new Enduring Power of Attorney is very similar to the Enduring Powers of Attorney under the old legislation. In essence the main difference between an Enduring Power of Attorney and a General Power of Attorney is that an Enduring Power of Attorney will allow your Attorney to continue making decisions on your behalf notwithstanding the fact that you may lose capacity to act for yourself. You can appoint an Enduring Attorney for either financial matters, personal matters or both.

Advance Health Directive or Living Will

This document allows a principal to:-

If you want to know more contact one of our solicitors and we can provide more information about the necessity for appointing an Attorney and what options may suit you best.