In the legal world of Wills, Estates and Powers of Attorney, you don’t need a relationship with half a million Instagram followers to exert influence.
In fact, you only need one.
Most people are not aware that if they accept an appointment to act for someone under an Enduring Power of Attorney, they create a relationship that can give rise to a presumption of influence.
The Powers of Attorney Act, details that where a person (the Principal) appoints an Attorney, any later transaction between the Principal and the Attorney is presumed to have taken place by reason of the Attorney’s influence.
This presumption operates even where the transaction has been performed by the Principal. That is, the Attorney hasn’t actually “done” anything – such as signing forms or documents.
The Attorney might be forced into a position of having to rebut the presumption of influence and demonstrate the transaction was entered into by the Principal freely and voluntarily.
Before you appoint an Attorney, you need to carefully consider who you appoint – particularly if there is any chance you might be considering providing that person with some gift or benefit in the future.