Cost to Set up Power of Attorney

I have been doing some research and found NSW Trustee and Guardian can help to set it up, I think they just help to refer a lawyer, who will charge $220. Probably a very standard document doesn't take much time.

Also rang a couple of lawyers directly, they want to charge by time rather than a set fee, because it can be a complex matter and they want an appointment to discuss further. I guess by that they mean to start charging.

I have since downloaded both general and enduring POA forms (have not validated if they are the correct or current, but got an idea from them), and if I understand the process correctly, the lawyer is there to certify the form and possibly to go over the wordings and explain as needed. Is that right? They are not the attorney.

Comments

  • +9

    Your last line suggests you are confused about how this all works.
    It would be sensible to pay a solicitor to advise you on this, they can tell you if any plans you might have could be vulnerable to challenges on a future estate dispute or similar.

    The reason for the power of attorney is so you can act for the subject, and you must act in their interests. It is important the poa is not defective, or it will be too late to start again, and you should act to avoid future complications.

    This is something I think is well worth a couple of hundred to get right.

    • I think it will be more than a couple of hundred, probably closer to a grand if takes a couple of hours.

      But I agree with your view that this is serious business and needs to get right.

      I was confused because all along I thought it's just a form, but the lawyers' responses suggest it can be complicated. I hear there's more to it but they didn't want to tell me in details (fair enough that's their trade).

      Is it best to find a lawyer specialised in estate laws? Would the Law Society be a good place for referrals? Never looked into this sort of things, all new to me.

      • +1

        I'm not a lawyer.
        I think the reasons you are seeking a poa will determine how involved it is.
        Generally, they are because somebody needs to be cared for, and it usually corresponds with the upcoming end of their life.
        I'd suggest there are two major concerns:
        - ensuring the poa allows the subject to be cared for effectively, their interests protected, and to reduce or eliminate any conflict where other parties might have different ideas.
        - ensuring that the subjects estate is handled in accordance with the subject's wishes in a way that there isn't conflict and drama.

        This kind of means the difficulty/complexity is proportionate to the drama and conflict that must be managed, and likely grows with the size of the estate.

        So if I was needing one as an only child to manage my lonely elderly mother's palliative care and there were no other beneficiaries to her modest estate, then it is easy and trouble free.

        But if I needed to manage my uncle's early onset dementia with his 4 ex-wives, 8 children, drug addicted sister and $100million dollar estate I'd be seeking all the help I could find.

    • It would be sensible to pay a solicitor to advise you on this

      But wouldn't this give the attorneys all the power?

  • +2

    I would advise not using the NSW Trustee and Guardianship Board, they stuffed up my mothers will. Lucky it was an easy fix.

    Can't recall how much I paid for my enduring POA?

    They have to be done right.

    • I agree stay away from the NSW Trustee and Guardianship Board. You do NOT need a lawyer with a POA.

      You can do either of the POA yourself, its easy and is DIY $0.00. See the following for the docs:
      https://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/power-of-attorney-form/?l...

      The hardest part in DIY POA is getting the right witness as you and the principal need to sign the doc in front of the witness and it's best to get a chemist or doctor to witness it.

      If you are a member of an RSL or CLUB ring them and ask if they offer free legal advise and if they do ask the lawyer they refer you to if they can witness the doc.

    • Thanks, that's sound advice, will see a private practice.

  • +1

    If you know what you are doing, you can do it yourself for free. Download the form (https://www.nswlrs.com.au/getattachment/137dfab6-6d8f-446e-a...), fill it out. Call the Registrar of the Local Court to find out when they can witness your signature, done.

    • Yeah, that's the form I downloaded earlier to understand what's involved.

      • +2

        Basically you can do it yourself and then get the court to witness it but… if you don’t understand the implications of the options you’re signing up to you’re best of speaking to a lawyer and paying. My dad’s was about $500 from memory.

        You need to be careful what you agree to, but it’s best to have one as long as you have people you trust. You can outline what the circumstances are by which other people can make decisions for you and what kind of decisions they are. eg you could say that someone can make financial decisions for you if you don’t have capacity as assessed by a doctor for a particular period of time. I’ve seen people in a coma have their house sold because they didn’t have capacity at that time later wake up and need to find somewhere to live when they leave hospital. For most people this isn’t an issue as long as you’re sure of the trustworthiness of who you choose as your epoa.

        Some things to consider is if you choose two people if either can make decisions or both have to agree. This is the kind of thing a lawyer would discuss with you and help ensure it’s worded correctly.

  • Before you go spend $, ask the proposed POA if they would be ready and willing to 'step in' as your attorney when your life turns to shi7 because if they do not want to act, for whatever reasons, then there is no point (since its voluntary).

    It might even be sensible to speak to those close around you to let them know of their appointment; the last thing you want when your life turns to shi7 is some real or perceived conflict and then NCAT appoints a financial manager and/or guardian to manage your $ and life.

  • +1

    I did my EPA with my solicitor when I did my will and the total cost was under $400 which I thought was well worth it.

    • I had mine done with similar cost

    • What's EPA?

      • +2

        Enduring power of attorney

        • +1

          All I could find was environmental protection. :D

  • Will ask an lawyer also, but just to get a basic understanding, does an enduring POA automatically become the executor when the day comes? Or need to nominate executor separately? Is a legal personal representative the same as executor, but simply a superannuation terminology?

    • +1

      You need to do some more research or speak to a lawyer. Plenty of free info online. PoA ends the moment you die. The next person in charge is the executor of your will (after probate process etc). The will should nominate the executor. It can be a lawyer or a trusted person (that is likely to outlive you).

    • You make an EPOA to appoint an "attorney" to look after your money and affairs if you lose capacity while you are alive.
      You make an Enduring Guardianship to appoint a "guardian to look after your medical and health decisions if you lose capacity while you are alive.
      You make a Will to appoint an "executor" to deal with your assets when you die.
      You can also in your Will appoint a "trustee" to deal with ongoing trusts set up as part of your Will
      Legal personal representative is usually a superannuation terminology but generally refers to your executor (when you make a binding death nomination for your super you either nominate a beneficiary, so it goes straight to them, or the legal personal representative, ie your executor, so your super falls into the rest of your estate and is dealt with as part of your Will).

      Hope that helps clear things up! And no, your attorney for the EPOA does not automatically become your executor when you die. You either need to make a Will and appoint them or you die intestate (without a Will) and someone will need to apply to a court to administer your estate, even if they have been your EPOA.

  • +2

    Is the EPA for you, or for another family member to make you an attorney?

    Any decent local firm will have a free/cheap initial consult and a fixed price for the docs. If not, go elsewhere, they don't want your business.

    If you know of anyone that may want to challenge the EPA in future, do NOT do it yourself. Also keep in mind financial and medical powers are separate documents.

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