What is the difference between a General and an Enduring Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a powerful instrument. The principal gives the attorney the authority to manage their legal and financial affairs, including buying and selling real estate, shares, and other assets, operating the principal’s bank accounts and spending money on the principal’s behalf.

Under a General Power of Attorney the power is lost once the principal loses mental capacity.

Under an Enduring Power of Attorney the power continues to operate once the principal loses mental capacity. Further, the principal cannot then revoke the power (unless mental capacity is regained).

In light of the above significant difference, an Enduring Power of Attorney can only be certified in New South Wales by a prescribed witness. A prescribed witness includes a Solicitor admitted to practice in New South Wales.

The exercise of power by an Attorney is governed by the Power of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW).

Remember a Power of Attorney is in relation to legal and financial affairs. If you are concerned about healthcare and lifestyle decisions that need to be made if you have lost the capacity to look after yourself, you need to execute an Appointment of Enduring Guardian.

Contact us for more information.