What Is A Legal Representative?

4th July 2019

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A legal representative is a person who has been empowered with the authority to act on behalf of someone else. He or she protects the interests of clients and is charged with making decisions when his or her charges are unable to do so. Although someone in this position is sometimes an attorney, this is not required, although an attorney is needed to establish someone's status as a legal representative.

There are a number of ways for someone to become a legal representative. Because this position comes with responsibilities in addition to powers, it is generally not thrust upon someone. A person who is being considered for such a position is consulted and given an opportunity to decline or recommend someone else. Once someone has indicated willingness to serve in such a capacity, documentation can be filed to create a legal standing that allows that person to act as a representative.

One example of a legal representative is an executor, a person named in a will to oversee the disposition of the property of a person who is deceased. If the deceased does not have a will, a court can appoint a legal representative. Someone given power of attorney is another example of a legal representative. Powers of attorney can be used to make decisions about health care for people who are incapacitated or to provide a representative with the power to make choices on behalf of a person who does not have the mental capacity for consent and decision making.

Guardians are examples of legal representatives. Guardians can be appointed or may be given their powers by a child's parents, as for example when parents travel and create a temporary guardianship so that a friend at home can provide legal representation for their child. In addition to overseeing the welfare of minors, guardians can also supervise people, often with cognitive impairments and/or intellectual disabilities, whom the law deems incapable of handling their own affairs.

Legal representatives are tasked with putting the welfare of their charges first. They must make decisions in accordance with the expressed wishes of the people they represent while also balancing legal and ethical issues. If they fail to represent someone with due care, a court may revoke the representation and appoint someone more suitable to the case. Concerns that can arise with legal representation include financial and physical abuse of people who may not be able to report the abuse.

source: https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-legal-representative.htm

How LifeLot Can Help YOU!

There may come a time when you aren’t able to make crucial financial decisions, from selling property or shares to signing tax returns. Power of Attorney agreements grant a family member or another third party the legal right to make these decisions on your behalf.

Achieve peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be looked after the way you want them to be by ensuring these important documents are completed and therefore available when necessary. Everything you need to create Enduring Powers of Attorney and a Will can be found in our template section. LifeLot members can follow the simple step-by-step instructions to create these important documents and upload them in My Legal for safe-keeping.

What Is  A Delegate?

In a medical emergency, a delegate will be able to securely access your Advance Care Plan or Will, and call upon other important documents when they're most needed. A LifeLot account must be transitioned to an "unlocked" state by the LifeLot team before a delegate can access it, and there is strict protocol around this transition. 

When you first create your LifeLot account, you need to assign at least one delegate, who will receive an email from us with your request and further instructions. They have the option to either accept or decline your request. See How to Add a Delegate.

Once your delegates are confirmed, they are then responsible for getting in touch with the LifeLot Team in the instance of you being either: 

  • medically unresponsive (Medical Delegate), or 
  • passing away (Life Delegate). 

The LifeLot Team will let your delegate/s know what steps they need to take in order to access your LifeLot account when the time comes. We have a range of supporting resources and guides to help your delegates along the way.

LifeLot acts as your very own personal database from which the information you gather and store can be retrieved quickly and presented to you in different ways. The information that you enter will feed into many important document templates that you can create, like an updated CV, a Will or Enduring Powers of Attorney. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a lawyer; can I still create a LifeLot account and get my Will sorted?

Yes, you will be able to. LifeLot has a Will template available for members, if you do not have one already. LifeLot can also help with a lawyer at a discounted fee.

I already have a lawyer and a Will, should I still create a LifeLot account?

Yes! You are able to upload a PDF of your Will to your LifeLot account as well as recording your lawyer's details and where your Will is held.

Do I need to tell my lawyer that I have a LifeLot account?

It is highly recommended that you do. Having your lawyer aware that you have all of your personal information stored somewhere safe will be beneficial down the track or in the event of illness or death.

I already have a Power of Attorney; do I still need a delegate as well?

Yes, for the purposes of how the LifeLot website is designed, you need to assign at least two delegates. See How to Add a Delegate.

Why do I need two delegates?

Just in case something were to happen to one of your delegates, it is a requirement that you also have a backup delegate.

Does my delegate have to be the same person as my Power of Attorney?

It is not mandatory that your delegate be the same person as your Power of Attorney, although having the same person may make things easier in the long run.

Related: The Legal Stuff | Enduring Powers Of Attorney | Legal 


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