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Power of attorney and guardianship

As people get older they need to make arrangements on how to handle their estate, and their personal interests in the event of sickness or death.

These include:

Enduring guardianship

A guardian is essentially a legally appointed substitute decision-maker. A guardian is granted powers only as is necessary to accomplish what an individual cannot do independently.

Individuals can choose to create a legal document called an ‘enduring power of guardianship’ that authorises a person to make personal, lifestyle or treatment decisions on behalf of themselves.  A guardian can also be appointed by the courts. Unlike the power of attorney, each state has a guardianship board or tribunal which supervises the guardian.

The most common functions of a guardian are making decisions on accommodation, health care and medical and dental treatment.

Enduring power of attorney (financial)

A financial ‘enduring power of attorney’ is a legal document that remains valid if the nominator becomes mentally incompetent.  The agent who is appointed can make any legal or financial decisions on the nominator’s behalf.

The appointed attorney is able to make a decision on property or financial affairs, for example, operate bank accounts, pay bills and purchase and sell property.

Enduring power of attorney (medical treatment)

An enduring power of attorney for medical treatment authorises the agent to make decisions about an individual’s medical care and treatment. This power takes effect if, and when, the nominator becomes incapacitated, whether temporarily or permanently.

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News

What to consider when consolidating your super

August 27, 2020

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds’ policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready: