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Signing and Operating Requirements for Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship

This information following has been prepared based on NSW law and may vary slightly from state to state.

You should refer to the instructions contained in the individual documentation for your state – Click here for our list of how to download Power of Attorney documents for each Australian State.

To view a table setting out how the states differ click here

General Power of Attorney Enduring Power of Attorney Enduring Guardianship
Will terminate if the principal loses mental capacity.  It is useful for short term periods where the principal is unable to attend to financial matters in person. Will operate in the event that capacity is lost. Will operate in the event of total or partial incapacity to manage affairs.
The principal’s signature needs to be witnessed by a person over 18 years of age The principal’s signature must be witnessed by a “prescribed witness”.  Prescribed witnesses include solicitors, barristers, registrars of the local court, and licensed conveyancers.

The prescribed witness must issue the principal a certificate stating that they advised the enduring power of attorney to the principal.  These requirements may differ slightly from state to state.

The attorney also needs to sign the form to show that they agree to act in this capacity and it will not take effect until the attorney has signed the document.

The principal’s signature and the enduring guardian’s signature must be witnessed by an Australian legal practitioner, registrar of the NSW Local Court, overseas registered foreign lawyer, approved employee of the NSW Trustee and Guardian or the Office of the Public Guardian.

It must also be endorsed with the enduring guardian’s acceptance.