It depends – Do I need a medical certificate to start acting as a lawyer? – Family and matrimonial

Australia: It depends – Do I need a medical certificate to start acting as a lawyer?

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In this edition of “It Depends,” lawyer Katelyn Gillert explains whether you need to have a medical certificate before you can start acting as someone’s lawyer.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to it depends. Today we are going to discuss the need to have a medical certificate before you can start to act as someone’s lawyer.

What is a continuing power of attorney?

A continuing power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person, called a “principal” to allow someone else to make decisions on their behalf. A continuing power of attorney will continue even after they have lost their capacity and when they can no longer instruct their lawyers.

What kinds of decisions can I make as a lawyer?

A lawyer can be appointed to make financial, personal or health decisions, or both. The principal can appoint the same lawyers to make decisions about financial, personal, and health matters, or they can appoint different lawyers to make decisions on different issues. Financial matters will include decisions about how income is invested, whether to sell assets, pay off debts, or pay accommodation or maintenance costs for the principal. Personal and health matters will include decisions about day-to-day living, where the principal lives and with whom he or she lives, day-to-day decisions such as clothing and feeding, as well as the consent or denial of a medical treatment and survival procedures.

When can I start making decisions as a lawyer?

It depends and it depends on the type of subject on which you are making a decision. The principal can specify that a lawyer in financial matters can only start making decisions once he has lost his capacity, immediately, so when the document is signed, or on another occasion or date that the principal specifies. . For personal and health matters, a lawyer can only start making decisions after the principal has lost the ability to make decisions for himself.

Do I need a medical certificate before I can take action?

Again, it depends. And it would depend on what issue you were making a decision on and also what the terms of the enduring power of attorney document say. You will need a medical certificate confirming that the director has lost the ability to make decisions on his own if you are making decisions for personal or health matters or if you are making decisions for financial matters and the director specified in a document that your powers do not begin until they have lost some of their capacity. Mainly, it means that you cannot make decisions about it until you have a medical certificate. You should also read the enduring power of attorney document carefully to make sure that the principal has not put other requirements in it, such as requiring more than one medical certificate obtained from different doctors.

Additional help with continuing powers of attorney

If you have any further questions about how to act as an attorney or about continuing powers of attorney in general, please contact a member of our team.

© Cooper Grace Ward Avocats

Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in Brisbane.

This publication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should obtain advice specific to your situation and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on regarding this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.

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