Experienced Power of Attorney Lawyers in Melbourne & across regional Victoria
Inexpensive peace of mind that you will be looked after when you’re unable to continue to do so. Stratus Legal Group has fixed price options for all types of Power of Attorney documents.
Power of Attorney
When you have a Power of Attorney in place, you can rest easy knowing that if you are unable to sign or do something, someone you trust can do so on your behalf. Lifestyle decisions, financial decisions, and medical decisions are all covered by a Power of Attorney. Some durable Powers of Attorney exist. This means that if the person who appoints the attorney becomes incapacitated or loses the ability to make decisions, the appointment of the attorney will continue. As a result, even after they lose capacity, it continues to exist. The principal is the one who gives the authority, while the attorney is the one who receives it.
Important things to note
General Power Of Attorney
A general power of attorney is a non-permanent appointment in which a person, also known as the principal, is entrusted with the following responsibilities:
• unavailable for a period of time; and
• wants someone else, the attorney to make financial decisions for them during this time.
A general Power of Attorney is usually used for a clear objective and for a specific time period.
The use of a general Power Of Attorney for long-term planning is not recommended. They stop when the principal loses his or her ability to make decisions.
Example: You’ve planned a vacation and your dream home, which you’ve always wanted to own, is put up for auction. Because you’ll be away from home, you appoint your best friend to bid on your behalf at the auction. You appoint your friend through a General Power of Attorney to bid and, if successful, sign a contract on your behalf. You can now travel abroad with the assurance that the proper legal arrangements have been made for your friend to sign the contract in your name.
Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker
An Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker is a legal document in which a person, known as the principal, appoints another person, known as the agent, to make medical treatment decisions on their behalf. If someone over the age of 18 is unable to make a medical decision and the situation is not an emergency, and there is no Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker or court order in place, treatment decisions will be made by (and in the following order):
• Primary carer
• Nearest relative over 18
• Son or daughter
• Mother or father
• Brother or sister
• Grandparent etc…
Having a Medical Power of Attorney in place gives you peace of mind in knowing that the person you’ve chosen to make decisions for you is someone you trust. Instead of leaving it to chance, you can speak with them ahead of time about the types of treatments you want.
Financial Power Of Attorney
A Financial Power of Attorney is a legal document in which a person, known as the principal, appoints another person, known as the agent, to make financial decisions on their behalf. These usually involve financial and real estate issues.
When the principal has the ability to make decisions, a Financial Power of Attorney is created. It can begin immediately while the principal is still capable of making decisions or when they lose their ability to make decisions. A principal can appoint more than one attorney and limit the appointment to specific tasks.
Example: Margaret’s husband passed away three years ago, and her home is becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Margaret has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but she is still capable of making decisions for herself. She isn’t ready to leave her house yet, but she also doesn’t want to be a source of stress on her son David.
With a Financial Power of Attorney in place
David is named as her financial attorney. She has told him that if she needs to be placed in foster care, she will do so. With the Financial Power of Attorney in place, David can sign contracts for his mother’s future housing on her behalf. He can also put her house on the market and sell it to help his mother move on to the next stage of her life.
Without a Financial Power of Attorney in place
Margaret never got around to completing her Financial Power of Attorney form. Her Alzheimer’s disease progresses quickly, and she loses her ability to make decisions. David is unable to care for his mother in her old home due to his work and family obligations; she must be placed in care. David must now apply to be her Administrator in order to sell her house and sign the nursing home agreements. He must complete the Victorian Civil and Administrative Application, gather the required supporting evidence, and await a hearing date. Then he has to go to the hearing, when all of this could have been avoided if Margaret had appointed him as her Financial Power of Attorney all along. All of this required months of time away from work and his family, as well as a great deal of stress for him and his mother.
Things to Consider
Having experience in all aspects of estate planning and wills, we are able to consider options that usually haven’t been thought of by our clients. This is where true experience makes a difference.
Familys and relationships are complicated and sometimes it can be awkward to discuss your private life. We assure you there is no circumstances in your family that you should feel like you can’t discuss with us as the more information we have, the more we can ensure you receive the best legal advice.
We aim to keep the fees for estate planning as affordable as possible and can offer payment plans where needed. All Estate matters require full payment to be held in our trust account before we commence any detailed work.
We offer telephone, video and in person appointments to suit your needs. Our team will always do their best to promptly return calls, emails and letters.
What Our Clients Say
Read what some of our past clients have to say. The ethics and reputation of each one of our lawyers, precedes them individually and us as a firm.
Wishing you all the best for your future endeavours and extremely happy to have decided to gain your advice and very professional Legal support.
Alex is an extremely professional, efficient, and friendly lawyer. He was fast with all correspondence, contacting me on the day of any inquiries. He took the time to happily explain any questions I had. I highly recommend Alex O’Donohue.