WHAT IS AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document which you can use to appoint a person to make decisions about your property and financial affairs which continues to be effective even if you lose capacity. An enduring power of attorney may be requested to commence immediately (before lack of capacity) for example. The person who makes an enduring power of attorney is known as ‘the principal’. The person who you appoint to make decisions for you is known as ‘the attorney’.
WHY APPOINT AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?
If you do not have an enduring power of attorney and you lose mental capacity, there may be no one with legal authority to manage your affairs. This may mean that the Guardianship Tribunal or the Supreme Court will need to appoint a financial manager for you.
WHAT DECISIONS CAN THE ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY MAKE?
The attorney can make decisions about your property and financial affairs. This means that they can operate your bank accounts, pay your bills and sell or buy property on your behalf. There are a few legal tasks that cannot be performed by an attorney – for example, an attorney cannot make a Will for the principal. An enduring power of attorney also cannot be used to make medical or lifestyle decisions for you.
WHEN DOES AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY END?
An enduring power of attorney ends:
- when you revoke it (so long as you have capacity at that time);
- on your death;
- when you have only appointed one attorney and that attorney dies or can no longer act as your attorney;
- when you have appointed two or more attorneys to act jointly and one of them dies or can no longer act as your attorney (unless you provide otherwise which is usually done so that the surviving attorney can continue to act).
For advice about enduring powers of attorney please contact us on 9635 7966
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