Overseas assets and travel highlight the need for an Enduring power of attorney

EVERY adult should have a current enduring power of attorney.

Most do not and while older people are now making powers of attorney, we are obviously all prone to accidents, illness or injury regardless of our age.

The situation becomes more complicated if people have assets in different countries or live or spend significant time in more than one country. Sometimes it is advisable to have a power of attorney in each country which you spend significant time or have significant assets in.

As our society lives longer with more assets and more complex families, the importance of powers of attorney has become far greater. Many of us are remarrying or are re-partnering in older age which complicates whom we appoint to make decisions for us and when.

Our attorneys can make most decisions we could make for ourselves but not all.

Many of us are travelling extensively and living for longer periods away from home. Do you want your attorney to be able to make financial decisions for you from the date of the document, including decisions if we are absent or uncontactable? If so, then this can make your power of attorney more flexible.

As we age, it can also be an advantage that your attorney can make financial decisions from the date of the documents to assist us if we become more frail and if decision making becomes more difficult for us.

Many clients are now including additional powers in the powers of attorney allowing their attorneys to make “conflict of interest decisions”, decisions in relation to extending superannuation nominations, and many other matters. What other provisions should be in your power of attorney? Is your power of attorney up to date?

Until next week – Keep it Legal!

Gerard Pender

*The legal information in this article if of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon

Walker PenderOverseas assets and travel highlight the need for an Enduring power of attorney