Thinking | 18 March 2020

COVID-19: powers of attorney and getting things done

By William Moore, Emma Woolley, James Whiley and Sam Baring 

One reality of COVID-19 is that many people will need to self isolate or be quarantined or, worse still, be treated for the virus. At a practical level, being able to get things done becomes harder. Advances in technology have reduced some issues; however, there are many instances where people need to be formally authorised to make decisions for you.

If you or your clients are concerned about the potential impacts of isolation or quarantine, having powers of attorney in place is the best way to overcome complications. These include:

  • general powers of attorney for companies, that can authorise specific people to give effect to decisions made by directors;
  • enduring powers of attorney for individuals, that (depending on your jurisdiction) can authorise people to make or give effect to financial, legal or personal decisions; and
  • appointments of medical treatment decision makers or enduring guardians for individuals, that (again depending on your jurisdiction) can authorise people to make medical treatment and personal decisions where you have lost capacity.

These documents would ideally be prepared with Wills and related estate planning documents. They allow you to get things done, and avoid potential complications for you and your family.

Please contact our estate planning experts in our Private Clients Team to discuss this further. We understand that many clients are understandably anxious about their estate planning given the current difficult situation, and we are able to assist in any way that we can.

Key contacts

William specialises in helping clients work through their personal and business succession planning and achieve their goals.

More about William

Emma has extensive experience advising clients in estate planning/administration, succession, trust structures and disputes.

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James specialises in estate and succession planning for high-net-worth clients in Australia, the UK, Europe, the US and Asia.

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Sam is a private clients lawyer whose practice focuses on estate and succession planning, with extensive experience in smsfs.

More about Sam

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