In our Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) 2 part series blog, our Wills & Estates associate Jenna Hutchinson and solicitor Stephanie Saint James explain in detail what an EPA is and why you might need one.
Part 1 of the series is below.
What is an enduring power of attorney?
An enduring power of attorney is a document which allows you to appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal and financial affairs. The person you appoint is called an attorney. You can prepare your enduring power of attorney so the appointment of an attorney only takes effect if you have lost capacity.
An attorney is not required to have any qualifications to be appointed however they have to meet certain criteria, such as they must be over 18 years of age and they must not be bankrupt.
Are enduring powers of attorney all the same?
In Queensland an enduring power of attorney is also known as an EPA or EPOA. Different states and territories of Australia have different enduring powers of attorney and there are a number of different ways to appoint attorneys, including jointly appointed attorneys or attorneys with restricted power. The power of attorney best suited to you will depend on your specific needs, your family circumstances, where you live and where your assets are located.
What can my attorney do?
You may appoint an attorney for financial matters, personal (and health) matters or both financial and personal matters. You may specify or restrict the power of your attorney for example a joint appointment of more than one attorney may require decisions to be made unanimously by the attorneys or you may direct that the appointment of an attorney only takes effect if you have lost capacity.
An attorney appointed for financial matters may do anything you would ordinarily do, such as sell assets, pay bills and make decisions regarding your finances. An attorney appointed for personal (and health) matters may make decisions such as where you live and the healthcare you receive.
Why do I need an enduring power of attorney?
If you are ever in circumstances where you cannot manage your affairs yourself, an enduring power of attorney is an important tool to ensure your affairs are managed by a person of your choice. If you do not have an enduring power of attorney, there is a process for people to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to be appointed as your attorney. In these circumstances, a person who applies to be appointed may not be your preferred person.
Turner Freeman Lawyers Wills & Estates team
It is important to have an enduring power of attorney to protect yourself and your family. Our team practices exclusively in Wills and Estates law and are here to guide you through the process of preparing an enduring power of attorney. If you require assistance preparing an enduring power of attorney or you need advice regarding an enduring power of attorney we invite you to contact us 07 3025 9000 for an obligation free discussion.