POWER OF ATTORNEY
Nautilus Law Group’s Estates Lawyers help you prepare for the future as much as possible. We recognise that there are circumstances, such as illness, that may arise and may affect your capacity to make decisions about your health and finances.
An enduring power of attorney allows an appointed person to make decisions for you relating to your health or finance in the event that you lose the mental or physical capacity to act on your own behalf.
We listen carefully to your concerns and draft appropriate restrictions and guidelines in the development of your power of attorney documents which reflect your needs and demands.NLG considers not only the aspirations and considerations of the client, but also the family. Decisions in periods of incapacitation of a parent, spouse and/or sibling can be traumatic on all loved ones. Therefore, NLG requires a detailed analysis of the health and wealth aspirations of a client in the event of incapacity, so the questions are answered and the guess work is removed.
Powers of Attorney for Health
NLG solicitors have been frequently called to bedsides of clients, both by the clients and the families.
By far, the most peaceful bedsides are with those of our clients who have completed a comprehensive Power of Attorney for Health. Some solicitors detail health decisions in an Advanced Health Directive, but it is the opinion of NLG that such directions should firstly be placed within the Power of Attorney for Health.
We require clients to consider all phases of incapacitation, including, but not limited to those matters covered within an Advanced Health Directive. Further, clients are required to analyse home health care and nursing care preferences, and end of life procedures. NLG prefers a minimum of three (3) Attorneys appointed under each document to ensure adequate succession is built into the document.
Powers of Attorney for Finance
NLG has dealt with significant problems arising from a “ticker box” completion of a Power of Attorney for Finance, with no restrictions and, in many cases, the sole appointment being a spouse or partner of the client.
A Power of Attorney for Finance is the most important document any client can complete because the consequences of improper appointments and/or inadequate restrictions can be disastrous to the client.
This document should be detailed in the method of financial spending, investment and gifting powers. This is even more so important when the client provides financial resources for a person with special needs.
In one recent example, NLG dealt with a case against an Attorney where the Attorney had decided to take the person with special needs “on vacation” with the parent’s money. In the process, the Attorney took three of her family members and stayed in a deluxe suite on a cruise liner for three weeks, and, in the process, depleted 30% of the Principle’s estate. In another case, the Attorney, who acted with the best of intentions, sold a bundle of shares to fund a nursing home bond, which triggered a capital gains event costing over $40,000, when a different bundle of shares could have been sold with no tax consequences.
Yet another case involved an Attorney who “gifted” $50,000 to each of the Principle’s children, when the Principle was being shifted to a high care facility. Centrelink investigated the “gift” which exceeded the “gifting” limits and the pension for the person was cut off and the bond was significantly increased.
NLG builds adequate directions and restrictions into its Powers of Attorney for Finance which prevent such accidental (and sometimes intentional) mistakes.
We welcome you to contact our team to discuss your personal concerns and desires. Please feel free to review our Articles Page, for topic specific matters.