A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you (the ‘principal’) to give another competent adult (the ‘attorney’) legal authority to act on your behalf. Subject to any conditions or limitations you may have imposed in the power of attorney document, your attorney will be able to do anything you can do in relation to managing your legal and financial affairs. This includes making legally binding financial decisions on your behalf.
In all Australian states and territories, there are two types of powers of attorney: general power of attorney, enduring power of attorney. Victoria has also introduced a third type: supportive power of attorney
1. A general power of attorney gives the attorney legal authority to act on your behalf for a specific time period or for specific purpose. The attorney can make financial and legal decisions on your behalf but only while you have the mental capacity to make your own decisions.
2. An enduring power of attorney allows the attorney to continue to act on your behalf including dealing with your financial and legal affairs even after you have become incapacitated and are unable to manage your affairs. An enduring power of attorney can commence before, after or upon the principal losing mental capacity.
3. A supportive power of attorney (Victoria only) allows someone to gather relevant information for you, communicate on your behalf and do anything that supports you with decisions. A supportive attorney cannot make decisions on your behalf.
Note: you can appoint more than one attorney if you wish. If you do so, you will need to specify whether the attorneys will make decisions:
- jointly, which means they must all agree to any decisions and every document must be signed by all of them;
- jointly and severally, which means that any one of them can make a decision and sign documents together or without the others; or
- consecutively, which means that one (or more) act initially but a substitute/s is/are appointed if the initially appointed attorney vacates that office.
A power of attorney can be set up such that the attorney can operate all your accounts including transaction and saving accounts, term deposits, loans and credit cards and be provided with Visa debit card and online banking access. A power of attorney can also spell out certain limitations of the attorney’s authority.
Even when you have a power of attorney arrangement, you are still entitled to know in detail how your affairs are being managed and that your power of attorney is acting according to your instructions.
A power of attorney can be lodged with us by either the account holder (the Member or Customer) or the nominated attorney/s by
a) emailing the completed power of attorney instruction form along with a certified true copy of the power of attorney document to [email protected]. If the attorney is unknown to the bank we will obtain their consent via the form to verify their identity electronically;
b) lodging in person at any branch or
c) mailing the completed form and a certified true copy of the power of attorney document to PO Box 7501, Silverwater NSW 2128.
Note: that if the account holder is unable to sign the Form then a letter from a doctor or care facility will also be required.
Once we have received all required documentation, requests will be processed within 2-5 business days.
If you revoke or limit the power in any way you need to advise us immediately by providing a certified copy of the revocation or updated power of attorney document.
Note: all powers of attorney cease automatically upon the death of the principal or upon revocation by the principal.