An Enduring Power of Attorney or EPOA allows you to appoint an individual or individuals to make your decisions and handle your assets in the event that you do not have mental capacity to do so yourself. This person is known as your “attorney” and you can appoint them to handle your personal/health matters, financials or both.
- Personal/health – This can include where you live and with whom, your health care and day-to-day issues including diet.
- Financial – This can include paying your bills and managing your investments.
While your attorney can only act for personal/health matters once you have lost capacity you are able to dictate when you want their power for financial matters to commence and even for how long. This comes in handy in the event that you are travelling overseas for some time and would like to grant someone the authority to deal with any bills that fall due. Alternatively, if you would only like for it to come into effect once you have lost capacity this can assist in the situation where for example if the power bill is in your name, then an Enduring Power of Attorney authorises your attorney speak with the company and make any necessary changes.
If you lost capacity and did not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place then you may not have anyone with “legal authority” to make decisions for you or manage your affairs. In this situation your family or friends would be required to make an application to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have an attorney appointed. This can not only be a stressful process during an already stressful time but it is also expensive and time consuming. It could also lead to conflict among your family and friends with some thinking that they are better equipped for the role than others.
It is strongly recommended that everyone has an Enduring Power of Attorney to protect them during their lifetime and also a Will to protect their interests after.
Please contact the office today to talk about your and your family’s future. Don’t forget to ask about our FINANCE OPTIONS.