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Sean, Experienced lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 855
Experience:  Law degree with 1st class honours from Australian National University.
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my sister & I are joint power of attorney for my father, who

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my sister & I are joint power of attorney for my father, who she has placed in a nursing home because as he has dementia. I have lived with my father all my life & have been his main career. As power of attorneys, we can act independently or jointly she has totally taken over & is doing what she wants & not consulting me at all. Can you please help

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would be happy to assist you with your question.

The way it works with powers of attorney is that if it is a joint power of attorney every attorney must agree on any decisions and any documents must be signed by all attorneys.

This is different to a power of attorney that is held jointly and severally. In this case, any attorney can make a decision and sign documents, with or without the other attorneys.

You may want to check the power of attorney document to see what it says about this. If you both hold power of attorney jointly, you have an equal say in all decisions. If she does not do this, she will be in breach.

Please let me know if you need any more information.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We can act jointly or severally, so she has totally taken over & is organising things behind my back, for example selling my dad's cattle. I still live on my dad's property, can she just come here & take what she wants

OK, if it is a joint and several power and attorney she does have the power to deal with your Dad's property like this. However, it has to be in your father's best interests. She can't just do whatever she wants if it is not in his interests. Also, remember that you can deal with his property too, so if you can take action yourself with his property if you feel it is necessary to do so.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

if she does sell off my dad's cattle can she keep the money, & who gets to decides what is in my father's best interest as I know this isn't what he would want. Also am I able to transfer money from my dad's bank account into another account that she doesn't have access to. She lives an hour away & hardly ever visited dad & now thinks she owns everything. What happens when my dad passes away & he has stated in his will what he wants to happen

No, she certainly cannot keep the money if she sells off your dad's cattle. The money remains your dad's and she would be holding it on his behalf, so could only use it in his best interests.

If you believe that she is not acting on your father's best interests, then you would need to apply to the court to stop her from doing what she is doing.

You want to be careful about transferring money out of your dad's bank account. That is, you want to make sure it doesn't look like you are taking the money for yourself. You could transfer it, but you want to make sure it is into another account in your dad's name, and not your own account and that you only use it for your father.

When your dad passes away, the assets will need to be divided as per his will. Your powers of attorney will end at that point and you will go into a process of executing his will. Whoever is the executor of his will will then have to divide his assets according to his wishes.

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