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Difference Between Enduring and General Power of Attorney

February 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 368

An enduring power of attorney is put in place to ensure that if you lose mental capacity, a nominated person is appointed to make financial, medical and legal decisions for you.

This type of continuing authority is set up when you have mental capacity to grant authority to someone you appoint to look after your affairs and make decisions on your behalf in the event you lose mental capacity. When you become incompetent to make such decisions, the authority is triggered and your nominated person can start to make such decisions for your wellbeing.

You may lose capacity in a variety of circumstances such as, brain injury, temporary unconsciousness, an accident or if you develop a disease such as Alzheimer's. The person appointed does not have to be a lawyer and in most cases is a family member or close trusted friend whom you appoint. Such a power may be extinguished when the grantor of the power regains consciousness or mental capacity, or, in most instances, when they pass away.

A general power of attorney enables one person to appoint another person, for example, to do specific transactions or make specific decisions relating to a particular transaction or for a period of time (or both) on their behalf, as if they completed it themselves. This type of legal document is commonly used to appoint another person to manage your finances while you are unable or absent, or to complete specified transactions on your behalf when you are unavailable or overseas, such as purchasing a car for you in another state. This arrangement and appointment may be revoked at any time by the grantor or it may automatically end when the specified transaction is completed or the nominated timeframe has expired. It also automatically becomes invalid if the grantor of the authority loses mental capacity or passes away.

Another difference between an enduring and a general power of attorney is that to appoint someone under an enduring power of attorney, that person must sign to evidence acceptance of the appointment which is not the case under a general power of attorney.

Your requirements for these authorities are different in each circumstance so ensure you are clear on when to use them as well as how to use them. The authority you are granting is a powerful tool as it is just as if you are making the decision and doing the act yourself so be sure you understand what you are doing.

Want to know more? Click here for Free information on Enduring Power of Attorney. Australian legal agreements and forms from

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