Transcript of Video
Caller: I want someone to manage my money for me if I get too sick. I thought my family could do just that for me if it happens but a mate of mine told me I need to get an enduring power of attorney. Is that right?
Lawyer: Yes, that's right. Legally family members can't make those decisions for you. That's why you need an enduring power of attorney. If you don't have one and you lose mental capacity, your nominated person will need to apply to the guardianship and administration board to have a financial administrator appointed to make financial decisions for you.
Caller: What do you mean by mental capacity? Is that if I still have all of my marbles?
Lawyer: Yes, sort of. In this situation we mean that you understand the nature and content of what you're signing and whether you're freely appointing someone to make decisions on your behalf.
Caller: Okay, can I choose anyone to be my attorney?
Lawyer: You can choose a family member, a friend, your accountant or a lawyer. Any person you do appoint must be over 18. You should choose someone you trust and who are acting in your best interests. Your attorney will be able to do anything you can lawfully do, for example; operate your bank account and pay your bills, so it's important you choose carefully.
Caller: Will my attorney make medical decisions for me as well?
Lawyer: No, they can only make financial decisions for you. Medical and lifestyle decisions are covered by an enduring guardianship. You'll need to complete a different form for this. Have a look at our video covering the basics of enduring guardianship. It's on our website.
Caller: Alright, I'll do that then. Is there anything my attorney has to do?
Lawyer: Because your attorney will be dealing with your finances they must keep accurate records and account for all dealings and transactions they make on your behalf.
Caller: Okay, that makes sense. What can I do if I or my family think my attorney has done something wrong?
Lawyer: If you think that your attorney isn't managing your finances properly you can vary or revoke it or a family member can apply to the board for a review.
Caller: That's good to know. Can Legal Aid do an enduring power of attorney for me?
Lawyer: Unfortunately, Legal Aid doesn't do this type of work but our free telephone
Advice service can give you the details of a lawyer in your area who does. You can
also go to a trustee company to have an enduring power of attorney drafted.
Caller: Can I do my own?
Lawyer: Because drafting an enduring power of attorney can be straightforward it is possible to get a form and draft one yourself.
Caller: Great. Is that all I have to do?
Lawyer: No. Once you've drafted your enduring power of attorney you will need to
register it at the Land Title's Office by paying a registration fee. It won't have any legal effect until it is registered.
Caller: Can I change my mind and cancel an enduring power of attorney?
Lawyer: provided you have mental capacity you can cancel or revoke an enduring power of attorney at any time. You'll need to fill out a revocation form and register that as well. An application can also be made to the Guardianship and Administration Board to revoke an enduring power of attorney if your family member think that your attorney is acting inappropriately. If they think this applies to you then they should contact the Board.
Caller: Thanks for your help.
Lawyer: You're welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Caller: No, I think that's all. Thanks.