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General Power of Attorney (ACT)

A Power of Attorney can be used to give an attorney the authority to act on your behalf and manage your affairs.


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Suitable for Australian Capital Territory only

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Document Overview

A general power of attorney is a legal document that allows you (the principal) to nominate one or more persons (referred to as attorneys) to act on your behalf. A general power of attorney gives the attorney the authority, if you choose, to manage your legal and financial affairs, including buying and selling real estate, shares and other assets for you, operating your bank accounts, and spending money on your behalf.

A general power of attorney ceases if you lose your mental capacity after its execution. If you wish the power of attorney to continue if you lose your mental capacity, and you wish to give your attorney power over health matters, use the Enduring Power of Attorney form.

It is strongly advised that any customisation of this form should be restricted to the fields in the questionnaire, as the legislation requires a certain form of wording to be used. Where text remains that is not applicable to your circumstances, such as the text relating to how multiple attorneys will exercise their powers, this text should be left in its original form.

The form may also be signed on your behalf by someone acting at your direction where, for instance, you have the capacity to make decisions but have lost control of your hands. This person must be 18 or over, and may not be a witness to or an attorney under this power of attorney. Where this is the case, the witnesses to your signature must certify that they saw the you freely and voluntarily direct the person to sign on your behalf.

Remote signing and witnessing

Powers of attorney may be witnessed electronically.

Where the document is being witnessed electronically, it may also be signed electronically. We recommend the following procedure. The witness must have an audio-visual link with the person making the declaration throughout the entire process. The camera must be pointed at the person and the screen where the person will electronically sign the declaration. Once the declaration has been signed by the person, they will typically then receive the declaration by electronic means, sign it electronically themselves, and send it back to the person. The signatures and initials can be inserted on the Lawpath platform.

Important information

It is important that you trust the person you are appointing as attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf. Your attorney must be over 18 years old and should not be bankrupt or insolvent. If they are bankrupt or insolvent, they will not be able to make decisions regarding property matters. If your financial affairs are complicated, you should appoint an attorney who has the skills to deal with complex financial arrangements.

An attorney must always act in your best interest. If your attorney does not follow your directions or does not act in your best interest, the power of attorney can be revoked in writing.

This power of attorney is for use in the Australian Capital Territory only. If you need a power of attorney for interstate or overseas, you may need to make a power of attorney under their laws. The laws of some other States and Territories in Australia may give effect to this power of attorney. However, you should not assume this will be the case. You should confirm whether the laws of the State or Territory concerned will in fact recognise this power of attorney.

This power of attorney does not automatically revoke earlier powers of attorney made by you. If you have made an earlier power of attorney that you do not want to continue, you must revoke the earlier power of attorney. It is advisable that you notify the attorney, preferably in writing, of the revocation, if you have not already done so. You should also give notice of the revocation to anyone who is aware of the earlier power of attorney, such as a bank. For a revocation form, see Revocation of Power of Attorney (excluding VIC, QLD, NT).

After signing

You do not need to submit this form anywhere, unless the attorney(s) is dealing with real estate, in which case you should register it with the Access Canberra Land Titles Office.

You need to complete it, make sure it is signed and witnessed properly, and then keep the original in a safe place. You should keep all pages of this form together at all times. You only need to print and keep the continuation section with the form if you have used this section.

You should give your attorney(s) a certified copy of this form.

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