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Estate Planning – Powers of Attorney

Estate Planning – Powers of Attorney Author: Con Koulouris Estate planning is an essential part of any financial plan. It concerns the distribution of assets upon your death. In this part of our three-part series on Estate Planning, we will explain what exactly a Power of Attorney is as well as its different types and their implications. Power of Attorney A Power of Attorney is a document wherein a person appoints another to assume certain powers with regards to their estate. There are two basic approaches to Powers of Attorney. Non-enduring power of attorney A non-enduring Power of Attorney will usually be set up so the appointed person, the attorney, will have certain powers for a fixed period of time. It may be granted for the duration of your absence, for example, if you are going overseas. The power may be unrestricted so that the attorney may make any decisions on behalf of a person with respect to their property for as long the Power of Attorney remains in force. Non-enduring Powers of Attorney will however become invalid if the person who granted the power becomes mentally incapacitated. If you’re going to be absent from your place of residence for a considerable period, you may wish to appoint a person, such as a relative or close friend, to manage your financial affairs. Rest assured, you can limit the powers granted in a Power of Attorney so that any powers granted are not absolute. Enduring power of Attorney The Enduring Power of Attorney is concerned with the affairs of those who are not in a position to look after their affairs themselves. Unlike a general Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney continues to operate should the person who granted the power become mentally incapacitated. Careful consideration is needed when granting an Enduring Power of Attorney. Because of its legal ramifications, an Enduring Power of Attorney can only be signed after obtaining the advice of a solicitor. Estate planning is a complex area. We recommend you seek the advice of a qualified professional such as an estate planning specialist to ensure your wishes with respect to your assets are carried out in full.   General Advice Disclosure: This document contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial adviser, AMP Financial Planning and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investment. Please contact us if you want more information.

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