Why do I need an enduring power of attorney as well as a will?
What is an enduring power of attorney?
An enduring power of attorney (EPOA) is a formal document which gives another person the authority to make personal and/or financial decisions on your behalf.
The main difference between a EPOA and a General Power of Attorney is that an EPOA will “endure” and continue to be valid in the event you lose capacity.
Why do I need one?
Olsen Lawyers recommends having an EPOA in addition to your will. This ensures someone you trust has the authority to make important decisions on your behalf in circumstances where you are still alive but incapable of making important decisions yourself. This could include situations where you are incapacitated due to medical reasons or simply overseas and unable to sign a document.
Should anything unexpected happen there will be a specific person or persons appointed to make decisions related to your health care, welfare, finances and other personal and financial matters.
If you do not have an EPOA your spouse or family members will not be able to make decisions on your behalf and may have to go through the Guardianship and Administrative Tribunal to be appointed as your attorney. This can be a long and expensive process which will cause unnecessary stress for your family.
How do I appoint an attorney?
When appointing your attorney, Olsen Lawyers recommends you choose a close family member, friend or spouse who understands your personal wishes and health care needs and is responsible with money. You may choose to appoint more than one attorney in case your first attorney is unable or unwilling to act. Alternatively, you may authorise multiple attorneys to make decisions jointly, severally or by simple majority.
In your EPOA you can choose to specify or limit the powers to be given to your attorney or give instructions as to how your attorney should exercise their power. For financial decisions you can choose to give your attorney authority to begin making financial decisions immediately or at a later date or occasion.
How do I make an EPOA?
Preparing your EPOA with the assistance of an experienced solicitor will ensure the document is legally valid and is tailored to your circumstances. Olsen Lawyers has extensive experience in this area and offers special package prices for preparing your will and EPOA.
Please contact us here should you wish to make an appointment or have any questions.