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POWERS OF ATTORNEY

There are two types of Powers of Attorney, both regulated in South Australia by the Powers of Attorney and Agency Act 1984 (SA):

1.     General Power of Attorney

2.     Enduring Power of Attorney

 

What is a Donor?

A Donor (also known as an Appointor) is the person who is ‘donating’ their power, appointing another person to act on their behalf in financial matters.

 

What is a Donee?

A donee (also known as an Attorney or Appointee) is the person who is receiving the power to act on a person’s behalf.  A donee should be a person who you trust completely, as you are entrusting your finances to that person.

 

What is Legal / Mental Capacity?

Legal / mental capacity is the ability to understand the effect of legal documents, to be able to communicate and make decisions. 

Legal / Mental incapacity can result from accident or illness and is defined in the Guardianship and Administration Act 1993 as “the inability of a person to look after his or her own health, safety or welfare or to manage his or her own affairs”.

 

General Power of Attorney

This document is commonly used to temporarily authorise another person to deal with your financial affairs, for example if you will be overseas for a period of time. 

The General Power of Attorney cannot continue to operate if the Donor becomes legally incapacitated and will automatically cease. 

 

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document used to appoint an ‘attorney’ (also known as a ‘donee’) to act on your behalf, to deal with your financial affairs. 

A donor MUST have legal capacity to make an Enduring Power of Attorney.

This document is used to plan for unforeseeable circumstances where the Donor may suffer a legal incapacity in the future, for example through illness or accident.  The Enduring Power of Attorney continues to operate after the Donor loses legal capacity.

The Donor can choose for the document to become effective immediately or only in the event that you suffer a future legal incapacity. 

 

What if there is no Enduring Power of Attorney?

If a person loses mental / legal capacity and has not made an Enduring Power of Attorney in advance, it will be necessary for an application to be made to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) for an administrator to be appointed to manage the person’s financial affairs.

 

ADVANCE CARE DIRECTIVES

An Advance Care Directive is a document that enables a person to state their wishes and guide decisions about their future health, lifestyle and personal matters.  A person can appoint one or more substitute decision makers (but is not required to do so) and they may state any health care or particular treatments they would refuse under which circumstances.

 

DOCUMENT COSTS

WILL:

Singles:         $350 each

Couples:        $300 each (i.e. total cost $600)

 

ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY:

Singles:         $180 each

Couples:        $150 each (i.e. total cost $300)

 

ADVANCE CARE DIRECTIVES:

Singles:         $180 each

Couples:        $150 each (i.e. total cost $300)

 

WILL, ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY:

Singles:         $450 each

Couples:        $400 each (i.e. total cost $800)

 

WILL, ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY, ADVANCE CARE DIRECTIVES:

Singles:         $600 each for all 3 documents

Couples:        $550 each for all 3 documents (i.e. total                                               cost $1100)