Enduring Power of Attorney
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document by which you appoint someone to look after your financial affairs, even if you become incapacitated. Your Attorney can do financial things on your behalf that they could not otherwise do such as operate your bank account for you, pay your bills, arrange insurance for you, or even sell your house for you. You can, of course, still do these things yourself.
You can revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney at any time while you are mentally capable of managing your own affairs, and it is automatically revoked by your death.
What does an Attorney NOT have authority to do?
An Attorney does not have the authority to make a Will on your behalf, make personal, lifestyle or medical decisions, act illegally, deal with any property held in trust by you, perform the functions of a director or secretary of a company on your behalf, or delegate their authority.
Who should I choose as the Attorney?
This is your choice, and may be your spouse or de facto partner, another family member or close friend, an accountant, lawyer or a trustee company. It should be someone you trust implicitly.
What should I consider when choosing the Attorney?
It is important to ensure the person is: 18 years of age or over; willing & able to take on the responsibilities; will act in your best interests and is competent to deal with all financial and property matters.
Are there any restrictions to me appointing the Attorney?
You must have ‘full legal capacity’. This means knowing and understanding the details of your own Estate; and that the Attorney will have authority to appropriately deal with all aspects of your property and financial affairs. People with a psychiatric condition, mental illness, dementia, intellectual disability or an acquired brain injury may not be able to execute an Enduring Power of Attorney. If there are any questions about whether you have capacity to appoint an Attorney, then discuss this with your lawyer. In some cases a written report from your Doctor will be required.
When does an Enduring Power of Attorney come into effect?
The Enduring Power of Attorney can come into effect immediately or after you lose your capacity to make decisions. The Enduring Power of Attorney ends upon your death and the provisions of your Will take over.