How to Give Power of Attorney From Abroad That Would Be Valid in Australia

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To give power of attorney from abroad that would be valid in Australia, the process involves a few steps that are similar to the ones already mentioned but with some additional procedures because you’re outside the country:

  1. Identify a power of attorney: Different types of powers of attorney serve different purposes, such as general, enduring, or medical.
  2. Choose your attorney: Decide who will act on your behalf. This person should be someone you trust completely.
  3. Consult with a legal professional in Australia: Contact a legal professional who can advise you and prepare the necessary documents. These services can be done remotely via phone or online communication.
  4. Prepare and sign the documents: The legal professional will prepare the necessary documents you must fill out correctly. You will sign these in the presence of appropriate witnesses, usually a Notary Public.
  5. Notarisation and Apostille: You must have the documents notarised by a notary public in your country. Notaries certify the document’s authenticity, your identity, and your understanding of the contents of the paper. After this, you typically need an Apostille Stamp, which authenticates the notarisation in Australia. This results from the Hague Apostille Convention, which streamlines the international use of public documents.
  6. Send the documents to Australia: Once they are completed and notarized, send them back to your attorney in Australia.
  7. Registration: Depending on the state or territory in Australia, the document may need to be registered with a government department if it is to be used for specific purposes, such as dealing with real estate.

What is a Power of Attorney? 

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows one person, known as the principal, to grant authority to another person, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on their behalf.

This authority can relate to legal and financial matters, personal affairs, or medical decisions, depending on the scope of the document.

What Are the Different Types of Power of Attorney?

How to give power of attorney from abroad, and what are its different types?

The specific types and names of Power of Attorney can vary between states and territories, but generally, they fall into these categories:

General Power of Attorney 

This gives someone else the power to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf for a specified period or event.

For instance, if you travel overseas and need someone to manage your affairs.

However, this type of power of attorney becomes invalid if the person who provided the power (the principal) loses mental capacity.

Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial)

This gives someone the power to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.

Unlike a general power of attorney, an enduring power of attorney continues (i.e., endures) even when the principal loses mental capacity.

This is useful for future planning if you ever need help managing your affairs.

Advance Health Directive (or Living Will)

While not strictly a power of attorney, an Advance Health Directive allows you to document your wishes for your future health care should you become unable to make or communicate these decisions yourself.

What Can a Power of Attorney Do?

How to give power of attorney from abroad, and what does it do?

A Power of Attorney (POA) allows an individual, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to make decisions and act on behalf of another individual, known as the principal.

The extent of what a POA can do depends on the type of POA and the specific stipulations it contains. Here are some general actions a POA can empower someone to perform:

Manage Financial Affairs: This might include paying bills, managing bank accounts, investing money, handling transactions, buying or selling property, and filing taxes.

Business Decisions: If the principal owns a business, the agent may be empowered to make business decisions.

Legal Matters: The agent might be authorised to represent the principal in legal proceedings.

When Will a Power of Attorney be Invalid in Australia? 

How to give power of attorney from abroad, and under what circumstances will it be invalid?

A Power of Attorney can become invalid in Australia under several circumstances:

  1. Expiration: If a Power of Attorney was set for a particular period or event, it becomes invalid once that time has passed or the event has occurred.
  2. Revocation: The principal (who made the Power of Attorney) can revoke it at any time as long as they still have the mental capacity to do so. This must be done in writing and may need to be formally witnessed, depending on the state or territory.
  3. Death of the Principal: A Power of Attorney becomes invalid when the principal dies. The deceased person’s estate management would typically pass to the executor named in their will.
  4. Loss of Capacity: A General Power of Attorney becomes invalid if the principal loses mental capacity. However, an Enduring Power of Attorney will remain valid.
  5. Bankruptcy: In some states, a Power of Attorney becomes invalid if the principal becomes bankrupt.
  6. Invalid from the Outset: A Power of Attorney can be considered invalid if it was not correctly set up – for example, if the principal did not have mental capacity when making it, if the form wasn’t completed correctly, or if it wasn’t properly witnessed.
  7. Death or Incapacity of the Attorney: If the attorney dies or becomes mentally incapacitated and there’s no alternate attorney appointed, the Power of Attorney would typically become invalid.
  8. Resignation of the Attorney: The attorney can also resign from their role, making the Power of Attorney invalid unless an alternate attorney has been appointed.

Can My Power Of Attorney Live in Another Country?

In Queensland, Australia, it is legally permissible for your appointed power of attorney to reside in another country. According to Queensland law, no specific residency requirements exist for someone to be appointed as a power of attorney.

This means that the individual you choose to act on your behalf in financial, personal, or health matters can be located overseas. However, it’s important to consider the practical aspects of having a power of attorney who lives abroad, such as potential delays in communication and difficulties in managing tasks that require physical presence.

Additionally, depending on the nature of the decisions to be made, international laws and regulations might complicate their ability to act effectively.

Therefore, while it is legally acceptable, the efficiency and practicality of appointing someone living in another country should be carefully evaluated.

How to Give Power of Attorney From Abroad?

Living abroad but need to arrange a Power of Attorney valid in Australia? Don’t worry – Walker Pender Group has your back!

Our seasoned will lawyers are well-equipped to guide you through every step, ensuring a seamless process tailored to your needs.

Make critical decisions with confidence, regardless of where you are.

Don’t delay! Start making your power of attorney with Walker Pender Group today – because your peace of mind is our top priority.

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