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What are Enduring Powers of Attorney, and do I need them?

Enduring Powers of Attorney are different to a Will.

Enduring Powers of Attorney only have effect while you are alive. You can appoint someone to make decisions in relation to your property and personal care and welfare matters (medical decisions) in the event you lose capacity.

If you pass away, your Powers of Attorney no longer have any effect. Your Will sets out what happens with your assets upon your death.

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Why appoint an attorney?

To put it simply, appointing an attorney now will make things easier for you and your family in future in case there is a change in your circumstances. If you are unable to make your own decisions in relation to your property or personal care and welfare, whether due to your capacity, health issues or otherwise, you will have a procedure in place for someone to make these decisions for you.

If you are going away, whether for work, to see family or if you are going overseas, appointing an attorney can make things so much easier for you. Having an attorney appointed for property means that they can act on your behalf and can sign documents when you can’t!

You have full discretion to choose how and when your attorney can act for you and on what terms. Talk to us about your particular circumstances and we can draw up a document to suit you. If you wish for your attorneys to consult with someone else before making decisions or to provide someone with information on decisions made, you have free reign to do so. Simply let us know their details to have this included as a requirement.

Having Attorneys appointed now, will avoid potential issues down the track. If a loved one loses capacity and has not already appointed an Attorney, the only option available is for a family member to apply to the Family Court to be appointed a welfare guardian and property manager. This process can take time, it is a lot more expensive and will need to be renewed every three years.

Make sure you and your family are covered

We at Collins & May Law want to help you have the right documents in place for peace of mind for you and for your family. Talk to us today and our team will give you the guidance and advice for you. If you wish to have Enduring Powers of Attorney in place or have questions about your current documents, please contact us today and we would be only too happy to help.