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Financial planning


Enduring guardianship not the same as a power of attorney. Enduring guardianship is about general health and lifestyle decision-making while a power of attorney is limited to financial, assets and property decision-making.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints one person (the attorney) to act on behalf of you (the principal or donor) regarding your assets and financial affairs. For example the attorney may be appointed with authority to buy and sell property, pay bills, collect rents and look after your bank accounts.

You must be over 18 years old and have the legal capacity to understand the nature and effect of the appointment. 

The Planning Ahead Tools website has detailed information on powers of attorney and enduring powers of attorney, for individuals and health professionals.

Other things to consider

An enduring power of attorney and a general power of attorney cannot be used to authorise someone to provide medical consent or health or lifestyle decisions if you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself. These are guardianship decisions.

You may choose to appoint the same person as your enduring guardian and your enduring power of attorney. Or you may choose to appoint different people in these roles, separately or independently.

If your enduring guardian is different to your attorney, you should ensure that each is aware of the other's appointment. They will need to talk to each other and co-operate if there is a need to make major decisions on your behalf.

Remember, decisions made by your enduring guardian may have financial implications and the financial decisions made under an enduring power of attorney may affect guardianship decisions.

Although you may have appointed someone to be your attorney under an enduring power of attorney, this does not mean that you have given away your own right to make decisions in this area. While you have capacity to decide you continue to make your own financial decisions, operate your bank accounts and deal with your property .



For further information about managing money and assets, power of attorney and financial management visit these sites:

Our 'Managing money & assets' page also has more information about financial management services and financial trusts.