FJS Lawyers Adelaide



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.



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.




Singles:         $400 each

Couples:        $350 each (i.e. total cost $700)



Singles:         $250 each

Couples:        $200 each (i.e. total cost $400)



Singles:         $250 each

Couples:        $200 each (i.e. total cost $400)



Singles:         $600 each

Couples:        $500 each (i.e. total cost $1000)



Singles:         $750 each for all 3 documents (save $150)

Couples:        $650 each for all 3 documents (i.e. total                                               cost $1300 - save $200)


A will may be contested on the basis of invalidity or inadequate provision.  The terms of a will may also be altered by a “Deed of Family Arrangement” following the death of the Testator.


How may a Will be “Invalid”?

When a will is presented to the Court for a grant of probate, there may be an argument that the deceased did not intend for that document to be their last will. 

Reasons for such an argument may include:

The deceased did not have the legal / mental capacity to make a valid will

The deceased was subjected to undue influence or forced to sign the will

The deceased did not understand the will (i.e. if written in English and the deceased did not understand English)

There has been some kind of fraud or forgery


Inadequate Provision

If a person has not received “adequate provision” under a will, they may be able to make an application under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (SA) seeking an order for re-allocation. 

An application can also be made in relation to a person who has died without a will (intestate).


There are strict time limits and eligibility requirements for making a claim. 


We recommend that you seek legal advice for your particular circumstances.