The NSW Parliament passed the Powers of Attorney Amendment Bill 2013 on 1 May. It proposes substantial changes to the Powers of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW).
Significantly, in cases where two or more joint attorneys have been appointed, if one of the attorney positions becomes vacant, the principal will now be able to choose whether the power is to continue despite the death of one of the joint attorneys.
The default position at present is that under a joint power of attorney if the position of one or more of the attorneys becomes vacant, the power of attorney is terminated.
The Bill also proposes that the Guardianship Tribunal be allowed to review the revocation of an enduring power of attorney. This amendment will give the Guardianship Tribunal the authority to determine disputes relating to the revocation of a power of attorney. Currently disputes of this nature are required to be settled by the Supreme Court. This change is intended to reduce both the cost of proceedings, and the time required to reach resolution which can be particularly important when matters involve elderly people who may be in poor health.
Additionally, in an effort to reduce confusion the single power of attorney form currently in use in NSW will be removed from the Act and replaced by two separate forms inserted into the Regulations. The new forms will cover powers of attorney containing general powers, and powers of attorney containing enduring powers.
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