The end of a relationship can be very difficult.
To most people, our family is the centrality of our lives so it is understandable that when such bonds are severed, it can have a devastating impact on the wellbeing of those involved.
A person who feels that they have lost all that is meaningful in life can often behave without thought to the consequences – especially where children are concerned.
At Sapphire Legal, we understand that people who find themselves in court often do so simply because one or both parties have allowed their feelings and sense of entitlement to cloud their judgement.
Fear, anger, disappointment, and unreasonable expectations are common in the breakdown of a relationship and underpin the majority of family law cases.
Whether you are thinking of separating or already have, obtaining legal advice on what options are available to you and your ex-partner is important.
At Sapphire Legal we can guide you through all matters relating to parenting and property settlement as they relate to family law, so you can make informed and considered decisions and ideally, avoid legal proceedings. Our primary goal is to help our clients avoid litigation wherever possible.
We know there is better way of doing things and we will advise you honestly and objectively. We offer alternative conferencing methods including video conferencing and telephone and will review all documentation provided to us prior to any initial conference.
For professional advice that is tailored to you, please contact Gayle to make a
confidential, no obligation appointment.
Can I do my own power of attorney in NSW?If you'd like Sapphire Legal to make your Power of Attorney document, you can begin the process, online. After you've filled out and submitted the online form, we’ll contact you, and arrange a time to finalise the documentation.
Does my attorney override my will?No. Your attorney can not change an existing will, or give instructions to make a will on your behalf. Therefore it is so important that you prepare your Last Will and Testament whilst you still have mental capacity to do so. Once done, you can include a condition in your power of attorney that requires your attorney to acquaint themselves with your Will and Testament and request that, to the extent practicable, they do not make any decisions that may cause a gift under your will to fail.
What is the difference between power of attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney in NSW?A General Power of Attorney can no longer be used once a person loses capacity such that they are unable to make decisions or act on their own. This is where an Enduring Power of Attorney comes in. An Enduring Power of Attorney can be used when a person has 'lost capacity’ but this document must be prepared before the appointer loses capacity.
Can I revoke a power of attorney?Your power of attorney appoints one or more individuals to have the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. Your attorney can continue to act until they are made aware of the termination of their appointment. To do this, you revocation must be in writing, signed by you and witnessed. If you have an enduring power of attorney, it continues once you lose capacity which is why it is important that in the event you wish to revoke this document, you do so whilst you still have mental capacity otherwise this opportunity will be lost. If you have registered your Power of Attorney with NSW Land Registry Services, you must also register the revocation with the Registry.
Can a power of attorney still be made after I lose capacity?Unfortunately, no. Once a person has lost their mental capacity, they will lose their ability to instruct a solicitor to prepare legal documents on their behalf. If you are a resident of NSW, your family or loved ones will need to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to apply for a guardianship order. This can be stressful and time-consuming. NCAT will then decide whether or not the person who is applying should be allowed to manage your affairs. There is no guarantee that they will agree and may make an order appointing someone else including the NSW Public Trustee & Guardian.
Who should I appoint as my Attorney?Generally speaking, while it is good to include your spouse or siblings, consider the fact that they may not be around or have the mental capacity themselves to manage your financial affairs. You need to ensure that whomever you appoint, you trust that they will act in your best interests. Ideally, wherever possible, you should appoint two attorney’s and a substitute attorney should one or both of your primary attorneys be unable or unwilling to act.
Do I need to register a power of attorney in NSW?If your power of attorney will require your attorney to deal with property, yes, it must be registered with NSW Lands and Titles Office.
Can someone with power of attorney withdraw money?Yes. A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person or people (your attorney’s) to manage your financial and legal affairs. This means withdrawing and depositing money in your bank accounts and any income you receive. If you appoint more than one attorney to act jointly and severally, you can include a condition such that any withdrawals above a certain amount requires your attorneys to act jointly.
What are the disadvantages of power of attorney?One major downfall of a POA is the agent may act in ways or do things that the principal had not intended. There is no direct oversight of the agent's activities by anyone other than you, the principal. This can lend a hand to situations such as elder financial abuse and/or fraud.
Is it worth having power of attorney?Indeed, a power of attorney forms a vital part of your estate preparation along with your Will and Testament and Enduring Guardianship. Unlike a Will however which only comes into effect once you die, your enduring power of attorney and enduring guardianship are effective whilst you are still alive but have lost mental capacity to take care of your own financial, legal and lifestyle/health decisions. Once you lose capacity however, you also lose your ability to instruct a solicitor to prepare your documents which is why it is so important to do this whilst you still have the mental capacity to do so.