Many people are confused about the meaning and role surrounding appointment of an attorney.
Let’s start with basics and I will endeavour to explain in raw and simple language.
Timing is Everything
On your death a Will document becomes effective.
During your life a Power of Attorney document is alive.
Roles People Play
Attorneys have power, by appointment and acceptance of the role as Attorney to act on your behalf while you are alive, under a Power of Attorney document which contains the terms of the responsibility.
Executors and Trustees pertain to a Will. Their role starts once you die.
As soon as you become deceased, from that point forward, the Power of Attorney document ceases to give legal power to your Attorney. However, the Attorney still remains responsible up to the date of death.
Death of a Principal (the person who appoints an Attorney) does not negate legal responsibility of your attorney which starts is on the date of appointment as stated in a Power of Attorney document.
An Executor executes everything to follow through with your wishes, the directions of a Will and proper legal procedure.
A Trustee is a caretaker – An appointed person/entity responsible for holding (in trust and with trust) certain things more often pertaining to assets.
For example – assets in the form or property and money can be held in the trust of another person until such time as children become of a legal (responsible) age to take control of the property or cash.
Types of Legal Appointment
Although people can tell someone or give another person authority it is imperative to create a written document to verify verbal agreements, directions and wishes.
A verbal agreement is legal and binding.
The problem with verbal agreement is it often comes down to one person’s word against another.
Written documents lessen and/or alleviate debate/argument.
Written documents of authority are required by banks and other institutions.
The absence of written authority causes frustration, delays and often results in additional (avoidable) financial expense.
Legal advice and direction on the most suitable form of appointment document is strongly recommended.
There are a number of FREE to the public documents available:
provided HERE Department of Justice, Queensland
Read documents carefully, in their entirety and in context.
Ensure documents are witnessed correctly to secure the documents and appointments are legally binding and enforceable.
See more in our Posts
(an article regarding Power of Attorney and Health Directives will be posted shortly)
To Your Peace of Mind