Legally appointing someone to make financial decisions

This page provides a plain-English overview of the legal processes involved in planning ahead, as well as links to local information.

To get advice about your individual circumstances it is recommended that you consult with one of the agencies referred to below or a legal practitioner.

How do I legally appoint someone to make financial decisions on my behalf?

  • You can do this by appointing someone as your attorney under a Power of Attorney document.
  • There are two types of Power of Attorney – General and Enduring.
  • A General Power of Attorney ceases to be valid if the person making it loses capacity (e.g. develops dementia), whereas an Enduring Power of Attorney remains valid even if the person loses capacity in the future.
  • An Enduring Power of Attorney is the best one for people wanting to plan long-term and to cover themselves if they lose capacity in the future.
  • Under an Enduring Power of Attorney you can appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf under one or more of the following areas or functions:
    • financial and property
    • personal care
    • healthcare.
  • You can appoint different people to cover each of these functions e.g. someone to make just financial and property decisions, a second person to make personal care decisions and a third person to make healthcare decisions.
  • Someone who has only been appointed under one function (e.g. financial and property) will not be able to make decisions under other functions (e.g. health care).
  • You may want to get legal advice when completing an Enduring Power of Attorney with financial and property functions, especially if your financial circumstances are not straightforward. You could get this from a private solicitor or trustee, a community legal centre or the Public Trustee and Guardian.

Links to local resources

Contact the ACT Public Trustee and Guardian online, or call them on (02) 6207 0707.