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Power of Attorney in NSW: How & Where to Appoint One

Appointing a power of attorney in NSW looks different to other states. With specific legal forms and set requirements to meet the legal requirements or make changes to this document. This post signposts you to these specific NSW POA forms, and provides guidance to support you through the process.

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Before getting specific with the power of attorney process in NSW, it’s important to clearly establish the basics of what a POA is, the different types of POA and what responsibilities they cover. We offer a fire-through, expresso form reminder below, with links to more in-depth information if it’s needed:

  • What is a POA: a legal document authorising a nominated person or trustee organisation to make decisions on your behalf if illness, lost capacity or travel disables you from doing so.
    • A general POA covers specified set of time

    • An enduring POA covers permanent lost capacity

  • Why appointing a POA is beneficial
    • Peace of mind your wishes will be carried out

    • Financial security & continuity to protect your assets

    • Reduced family stress of trying to gain this authority in the future

  • Different types of POA
    • A medical POA is referred to as enduring guardianship in NSW & covers healthcare, lifestyle & medicine decisions

    • A financial POA manages investments, rent, legal documents, debts & property decisions depending on the specific authority you’ve granted

If you’d like Safewill to appoint your POA, you can start the process with us online. It’s easy, affordable and flexible around your life commitments. Below we cover your common questions on NSW eligibility criteria for power of attorney, whether you really need a solicitor and how to cancel a POA once established.

Who is eligible to be my power of attorney in NSW?

In NSW, a power of attorney could be a lawyer, carer, family member or NSW Trustee & Guardian. As long as they’re over the age of 18 and have full capacity to understand the responsibilities of the power of attorney role, the NSW law has minimal restrictions. Someone with dementia or a mild disability can also still be your power of attorney, as long as they have capacity at the point of signing the form.

Who is not eligible to be my power of attorney in NSW?

To avoid exploitation of conflicts of interest, there are several restrictions on who can be your power of attorney in NSW. These exclusions include:

  • A recent paid carer

  • Your health provider

  • Your residential services provider

  • Someone with a history of bankruptcy of financial crime

  • Someone with financial conflicts of interest

It’s important that your power of attorney is trustworthy, and can be neutral in making financial or legal decisions on your behalf. If you're unsure whether the power of attorney you have in mind is ineligible, get in touch with Safewill today for further guidance.

What if I don’t know anyone who can be my power of attorney in NSW?

It might be easier or provide greater peace of mind to appoint a neutral power of attorney to manage your financial and legal affairs. If this is relevant to you, considering a NSW Trustee & Guardian can be a good option for short or long term arrangements; managing payment of bills, assets and investments, income issues and taxation. This option can provide an excellent sense of security if you're unsure on who to appoint, and want a safety net in the meantime.

Does my power of attorney need to be registered?

It depends. For any power of attorney authorised to manage real estate, they must be registered with the Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA). Whilst registration of your power of attorney is therefore not always required, there are benefits to registration:

  • Provides officially recognised proof of authority to power of attorney to carry out your decisions
  • Security from loss or damage to POA document

Do I need a solicitor to appoint a power of attorney in NSW?

No. You can appoint your own power of attorney using the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) application forms. There are different forms for enduring vs general power of attorney, and the signing of this form must be witnessed by a qualified person. This could be a barrister, solicitor, or registrar of the Local Court, or could be an employee of the NSW Trustee and Guardian or trustee company, a qualified overseas lawyer or a licenced conveyancer. The power of attorney must also sign the form to accept this responsibility.

Can I change or revoke my power of attorney in NSW?

Yes. You can make changes or cancel your power of attorney in NSW as long as you still have capacity. It's important to make use of this flexibility, and review and update your power of attorney regularly in line with any updated wishes and circumstances. If you lose capacity, your enduring guardian can apply on your behalf to make these alterations.

How to revoke or cancel power of attorney?

To revoke or cancel a power of attorney and disable them from making decisions on your behalf, you must destroy any copies of the poa document. You must also inform the relevant key parties, including:

  • The relevant power of attorney

  • Your bank, financial institution or other relevant businesses your attorney may have been communicating with

  • For registered power of attorneys, you must also notify the NSW Land Registry Office

It's important to seek legal clarity before and after making these alterations. This will ensure any changes reflect your new wishes, as well as ensure the power is taken away from where you want.

How Safewill can help with Power of Attorney in NSW

Safewill offers expert and affordable legal guidance on appointing or changing your power of attorney or enduring guardianship in NSW. We'll help you through this complex process with lower cost, greater ease and with more compassion than anyone else in the industry. To find out more, get in touch for a one-to-one discussion on 1800 103 310 , or live chat now.

Last updated 11th January 2023
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Hannah Comiskey
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