How to create a valid Power of Attorney?

Who can make a POA?

No one else can make a power of attorney on your behalf. You must do it yourself while you are of sound mind. In South Australia, eligibility requirements for making a POA are:

  • Age: POA maker must be over 18 years old. If a person is under 18 and considering making a power of attorney, they should seek advice from a lawyer.
  • Legal Capacity: A POA must be completed when the donor has legal capacity which means that he/she is able to understand the nature of the document, its effect and remains communication ability.

How to make a POA?

Get prepared:

Before starting a POA, you should first ask yourself to what extent you would want your donee to act on your behalf, what powers you want to give them.

In some simple cases such as having someone operate your bank account, you do not need a formal POA but the authorisation form from bank which enables you to allow them to act on your behalf.

Get started

The easiest way to make an enduring POA is to ask a private lawyer, professional attorneys to prepare your POA and give consultation according to your personal case.

If you want to do-it-yourself, there is a valuable resource called Enduring Power of Attorney Kit from the Legal Services Commission to support your journey. This DIY kit includes all required forms, detailed instructions,  answers to common questions and also a full explanation of how to complete and use the forms. However, there remains a lot of uncertain and complex items that it is recommended seeking legal advice to avoid missing or wrong filling.

Complete the forms

Knowing what to do from the “Get started” step, you can download and print the forms from Dev Smith Nguyen website or purchase blank forms from Service SA.

After filling required forms, you should carefully check the POA to make sure that all details give accurate reflections of your intentions with no vague or confusing sentences. 

Signing a POA

  • Donor signing: When you are sure to have the final version of your POA, as a donor, you should sign the POA under the witness of a person authorised by law to take affidavits such as a lawyer, a justice of the peace, or a proclaimed police officer.
  • Donee signing: The donee of an enduring POA must sign the form to show that he or she agrees to take on the responsibility as a donee.

Though it is not a compulsory requirement, it is advisable that the donee signs at the same time with the donor or within a reasonable time after the donor’s signature has been witnessed to avoid complications later if the donor suffers an incapacity.

Can we use POA for land transfer?

If a POA is being used on the donor’s behalf in respect of the transfer of, or other dealing with land and real estate.

How to create a valid Power of Attorney?
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