What Is The Power of An Attorney? How Do I Get A Power of Attorney?

What Is The Power of An Attorney? How Do I Get A Power of Attorney?
7 min read
20 October 2023


In the realm of wills and estates, understanding the power of an attorney is crucial. A power of attorney is a legal document that grants an individual the authority to act on your behalf, whether it's for financial, health, or personal matters. This legal tool can be invaluable in ensuring your affairs are managed according to your wishes, especially when you're unable to do so yourself. If you're in Perth, Western Australia, and need to navigate the complexities of power of attorney, it's essential to seek the expertise of experienced lawyers specializing in wills and estates.

This article explores the concept of a power of attorney and provides insight into how you can obtain one, emphasizing the importance of consulting wills and estates lawyers in Perth.

Understanding the Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that empowers someone, known as the "attorney," to make decisions on your behalf. These decisions can relate to financial, medical, or personal matters, depending on the type of power of attorney you choose. There are two primary types:

  1. General Power of Attorney (POA): This type of POA grants broad authority to the attorney to act on your behalf for a specified period. It is typically used for short-term or specific financial transactions, like selling a property while you're abroad.
  2. Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA): An EPA continues to be effective even if you lose capacity due to illness or incapacity. It's an essential tool for ensuring your financial and healthcare decisions are made according to your wishes when you cannot make them yourself.

The Process of Obtaining a Power of Attorney

Getting a Power of Attorney involves a few crucial steps:

  1. Choose the Type of POA: The first step is to decide what kind of power of attorney you need. If you want to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, you'd require a medical or enduring power of attorney. For financial matters, a general or enduring power of attorney is suitable.
  2. Consult an Attorney: Seek a reputable power of attorney lawyer in Perth WA, who specializes in wills and estates. They will guide you through the process, ensuring that your document adheres to the relevant legal requirements and that it accurately reflects your intentions.
  3. Select Your Attorney: Carefully choose the individual you want to designate as your attorney. It's crucial to select someone you trust implicitly, as they will make critical decisions on your behalf.
  4. Create the Document: With the assistance of your lawyer, draft the power of attorney document. This document should be clear and specific, outlining the powers and limitations of your chosen attorney.
  5. Witness and Sign the Document: In Western Australia, the Power of Attorney Act 2003 prescribes specific witnessing requirements for enduring powers of attorney. The document must be witnessed by a prescribed witness, typically a lawyer or a licensed settlement agent. Both you and the witness must sign the document.
  6. Register Your EPA: While registration of an enduring power of attorney is optional in Western Australia, it is highly recommended. Registration makes the document easier to prove and provides an additional layer of security.

The Role of Wills and Estates Lawyers in Perth

Wills and estates lawyers in Perth, WA, play a crucial role in the process of obtaining a power of attorney. Their expertise is invaluable in ensuring the document's legality and effectiveness. Here's how they can assist:

  1. Legal Expertise: Lawyers specializing in wills and estates are well-versed in the intricacies of power of attorney laws. They can help you choose the right type of POA that suits your needs and circumstances.
  2. Customization: Your lawyer can customize the document to reflect your specific wishes and preferences. This ensures that your attorney's powers and limitations are precisely defined, reducing the risk of misuse.
  3. Compliance: Power of attorney documents must adhere to the relevant state laws and regulations. Wills and estates lawyers ensure that your document complies with all legal requirements, reducing the risk of challenges in the future.
  4. Protection of Interests: These lawyers act in your best interests and are ethically bound to represent your wishes. They can also advise you on appointing a trustworthy attorney who will act in your best interests.
  5. Registration Assistance: If you choose to register your enduring power of attorney, your lawyer can help with the registration process. This additional step can provide peace of mind and added protection.

The Importance of an Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is a powerful legal tool that safeguards your interests when you become incapacitated due to illness, injury, or other circumstances. Without an EPA in place, your family and loved ones may face significant challenges in managing your affairs. Here are a few reasons why having an EPA is essential:

  1. Healthcare Decisions: An EPA allows you to designate someone you trust to make critical healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot do so. This includes choices about medical treatment and end-of-life care.
  2. Financial Management: Your chosen attorney can manage your finances and assets, ensuring bills are paid, and investments are maintained. This is crucial in avoiding financial hardship during your incapacity.
  3. Avoiding Legal Battles: Without an EPA, disputes among family members about your care and finances can lead to costly and emotionally draining legal battles. An EPA provides clarity and reduces the likelihood of such conflicts.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing that you have a trusted person looking out for your interests when you cannot do so yourself offers peace of mind. It's a proactive measure to ensure your affairs are handled according to your wishes.


Understanding the power of attorney and the process of obtaining one is essential for anyone interested in securing their future and ensuring their affairs are managed correctly. Whether you need a general power of attorney or an enduring power of attorney, consulting wills and estates lawyers in Perth, WA, is a wise choice. Their legal expertise and guidance can help you create a robust power of attorney document that reflects your wishes and safeguards your interests, even in challenging times.

Don't delay in taking the necessary steps to protect your future. Consult with a qualified power of attorney lawyer in Perth, WA, and start the process of creating a power of attorney document tailored to your unique needs. In doing so, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your affairs will be in safe hands, come what may.

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charlote lee 2
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