Who should I appoint as my Executor, Power or Attorney or Enduring Guardian? This is a question we often hear. Although the roles are quite different the common factor is that the person you appoint is going to have control over either your finances or you!
It’s important to understand the differences between the roles. People nominated as your attorney in a Power of Attorney document, have decision making power over your financial and legal affairs while you are still alive. This can either be in a general capacity, for example limited to business matters, or periods you are travelling, or you can nominate an Enduring attorney. This is someone who will have decision making power over your financial and legal affairs if you lose mental capacity. A Power of Attorney ceases once you die.
An Enduring Guardian gives someone decision making power over your medical and health care decisions and needs if you lose the mental capacity to make those decisions for yourself. This also ends once you die.
An Executor is the person who administers your Will after you die and makes sure that your wishes are carried out.
Clearly, the person or people you appoint to these positions must be people that you trust. They don’t all have to be the same person and sometimes people might deliberately choose differently for each task. They can be a spouse, other family members, friends or you can appoint a professional. They must be over eighteen (18) and have full mental capacity themselves.
Either way they MUST be someone who you trust to act in your interests if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
It’s important to consider carefully who to appoint into these roles, and vital that you appoint someone!
If you would like to create a new Will, Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian, or if you would like to discuss whether you have appointed the best people in these roles, please contact us to make an appointment to see someone from our Wills and Estates team.
Roberta Allen – Marriott Oliver Solicitors Pty Ltd – 2016