If you have made a Power of Attorney (POA) or are considering one, you should be aware that new forms in NSW are effective from 1 March 2014. The two new forms will replace the previous general power of attorney form.
General POA v Enduring POA
A General POA may commence immediately, or by reference to a particular date or perhaps event. For example, ‘this General POA will be effective whilst I am overseas’. Signed acceptance by the attorney is not required.
An Enduring POA may commence as soon as the attorney accepts the appointment or perhaps when a Medical Practitioner considers the principal unable to manage their affairs properly. Signed acceptance is required by the attorney/s, so that they are able to acknowledge their responsibilities.
The New Forms
The new forms present a number of changes in comparison to the existing form.
- There are now two prescribed forms instead of the single form that was previously required.
- The new forms are more detailed. For example, allowing the principal to be more specific in relation to who is appointed as an attorney.
Should I make a new Power of Attorney?
We advise that a Power of Attorney using the old form, is still valid. However, there are some circumstances when a new Power of Attorney should be considered:
- If you have appointed more than one attorney to act jointly;
- If assets specifically gifted under your will are at risk of being disposed of by the attorney; and
- If your circumstances have changed, and your need to make a change to the person you have appointed as your attorney.