Everything you need to know about Power of Attorney and Aged Care decision making

Select to Highlight: People | Institutions |

power-attorney-enduring-olive-groveOne of the most important things you can do for your family is to create a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that enables someone to act on another person’s behalf, in the event that the other person is unable or unwilling to act for themselves.

If a loved one needs to be admitted to an Aged Care facility after a fall or incident, they may not be able to make decisions for themselves. It’s often uncomfortable to have the conversation about our loved ones becoming frail with age. However, having a loved ones wishes clearly expressed and documented can alleviate some of the pressure at the time of transitioning to an Aged Care facility.

A Power of Attorney is a key consideration, and it’s important to understand what it entails and how it works so that you can make sure your family is taken care of if something happens. Here are four key questions about Powers of Attorney.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) allows an individual—known as the “Principal”—to appoint another person—known as the “Agent” or “Attorney-in-Fact”—to handle specific financial matters on their behalf. This could include anything from paying bills, making investments, filing taxes, and more. It can be a very powerful tool, but it also needs to be used wisely to ensure that everything is done properly and above board.

Who Can Be Given Power of Attorney?

The Principal can grant one or more POA’s to anyone they trust, including friends, family members, or even attorneys. The Agent should be someone who will act responsibly and in the best interest of the Principal at all times. When selecting an Agent, it’s important to pick someone with enough knowledge and understanding about finances and legal matters so that they are able to make informed decisions on behalf of the Principal.

What Powers Does an Agent Have?

An Agent has whatever powers are specified in the POA document itself. This could include anything from managing bank accounts, making investments, filing taxes, paying bills and more. However, it’s important to remember that an Agent does not have absolute power; they must still act within the bounds set by the document itself and act in good faith at all times on behalf of the Principal.

What Happens if Something Goes Wrong?

It’s important to note that an Agent can be held liable for any losses incurred due to mismanagement or negligence while acting under POA; however, there are certain steps that can be taken in order to minimize any potential risks associated with this type of arrangement. For example, having a trusted friend or family member serve as a co-agent so that two heads are better than one when it comes time for decision making is always a good idea! In addition, establishing periodic check-ins between Agents and Principals also helps ensure everyone remains accountable for their actions throughout this process.

Establishing a Power of Attorney is one way you can ensure your family is taken care of if something happens to you, and can make it easier to execute a loved ones wishes, even if they are not able to express their wishes themselves. It’s important that you have all your ducks in a row when setting up this arrangement so you know exactly what powers your agent will have once appointed by you – whether it’s managing bank accounts or filing taxes – as well as knowing who you can entrust with this responsibility without putting yourself at risk down the line! With careful planning and consideration, establishing a Power of Attorney should prove beneficial both now and into the future!

Bill Savellis

Aged Care Financial Adviser at Olive Grove Financial Advice
Having navigated the Aged Care landscape for both of his parents, Bill understands how challenging it can be to make the right decisions for your future care needs. That's why he believes that everyone should have access to financial advice during this time.

Bill has been a Financial Adviser for over 22 years, and is passionate about helping others access the financial advice they need. Drawing from his own experience in the financial sector, Bill develops strategic, personalised plans to support transitions to Aged Care or Home Care.
Bill Savellis
Categories: Aged Care, Elderly, Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney
Tags: , , , ,