An enduring power of attorney enables you to appoint a representative to make financial decisions on your behalf, should you become incapacitated.
It is a legal document in which you are able to nominate someone you trust to handle your affairs, should you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. Without an enduring power of attorney, there may be nobody with legal authority to manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf.
Most hospitals and retirement villages/nursing homes require that you have an EPOA.
A general power of attorney allows you to nominate someone to legally act on your behalf while you are still mentally capable. This person is authorised to sign official documents on your behalf—say, for instance, if you are overseas. They can also be authorised to access your bank accounts and handle your financial affairs.
However, with a general power of attorney, this legal authority ceases to apply should you become mentally incapacitated. Only a person appointed by an enduring power of attorney can legally act on your behalf in such a scenario.
It’s important to remember that your nominated attorney is only able to deal with financial and property related issues. They cannot make medical, health or lifestyle decisions on your behalf. You can, however, make an advance health directive to address such issues.
For advice on Wills and Estates and Enduring Powers of Attorney, please call or email: