Powers of attorney are extremely important documents which have the ability to provide peace of mind to the principal. However, considerable problems can arise if the principal appoints the wrong person. It is important to remember that a duly appointed attorney has significant powers in relation to the principal’s property.

Unless otherwise expressly limited in the Power of Attorney, an attorney has the right to deal with the principal’s property in any way in which the attorney sees fit, provided that it is in the interests of the principal (or not against the principal’s express wishes ensuring that he or she is of sound mind). Simply, this means that the attorney can do anything that the principal can ordinarily do. This may include:

Withdrawing money from bank accounts;
Entering into or altering financial investments; and
Buying or selling property.

Accordingly, it is important that a principal has complete trust in their appointed attorney.

It is possible to limit the powers granted to an attorney. If you would like to review your existing Power of Attorney or would like to discuss your personal circumstances, in particular whether you need a Power of Attorney, need to limit the powers you have granted to your attorney or need to revoke such an appointment, please contact Jayne Humphreys or email jayne@wmdlaw.com.au  or Joel Hiscox or emailjoel@wmdlaw.com.au .

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