An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a trusted person, the legal authority to act for you, and to make legally binding decisions on your behalf.
The Public Trustee and Guardian provides a professional service and will prepare your Enduring Power of Attorney, where you have nominated the Public Trustee and Guardian as your executor and also wish to appoint the Public Trustee and Guardian as your attorney for property and financial matters, for the determined fee set out in our fees brochure.
Why have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
In case of accident, sudden illness, planned or unexpected absence, or when you just can't cope, you may need someone to manage your financial affairs.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is particularly useful:
- to relieve yourself of the day to day demands of financial paperwork and record keeping;
- as a safety net when travelling or to allow someone to handle your affairs in your absence;
- to avoid burdening family or friends with the responsibility of looking after your affairs; or
- if you are unable to manage your prosperity or financial affairs.
Types of Powers of Attorney
General Power of Attorney:
- only valid while you have legal capacity;
- useful if you are going away for an extended period and you do not want the authority to continue should you lose legal capacity; and
- usually drawn up for a specific purpose with specific or general powers.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA):
- continues to be valid even if you lose legal capacity due to disability or illness;
- may empower your attorney to make financial, property, lifestyle and health decisions;
- may be activated when required or upon loss of legal capacity; and
- allows your attorney to commence or to continue to manage your affairs even though you have become unable to give lawful instructions.
What is "legal capacity"?
This relates to a person's ability to fully understand the nature and implication of the document they are signing. It may relate to a person's state of mind or to their legal age (over 18 years).
Should any doubt arise about legal capacity, a medical report may be obtained confirming the person's ability to conduct his or her own financial affairs.
When does an Enduring Power of Attorney become effective?
The person making the Enduring Power of Attorney may state in the document when and how power the Enduring Power of Attorney may is exercisable.
An Enduring Power of Attorney for financial and property matters may be expressed to commence in a range of circumstances.
- Starting on a date specified in the Enduring Power of Attorney.
- Upon the loss of capacity of the person giving the power.
If an Enduring Power of Attorney for financial and proeprty matters does not state when it is exercisable, the power can be exercised once the Enduring Power of Attorney is made.
However, an Enduring Power of Attorney for personal and health care matters may commence only upon the loss of capacity of the person. This must be certified by a medical practitioner.