Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby you (the donor) appoint another person or persons (the donee) as your Attorney.
Mental incapacity, whether it’s temporary or permanent, can happen at any time. Without an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, decisions about your finances and real estate property that may need to be made in your best interest, cannot be made.
Anyone that has mental capacity and is over the age of 18 can make an Enduring Power of Attorney. The Enduring Power of Attorney can be prepared so that the person(s) you appoint can act immediately after you sign the document. Alternately, the Enduring Power of Attorney can be prepared so that the person(s) you appoint can only act on your behalf after the State Administrative ‘declares’ you are incapable of making your own decisions.
There are a number of factors to consider when appointing someone to act as your Attorney:
- Can you trust the person to know your wishes?
- Do they have the knowledge and skill to manage your financial affairs?
- Will they always act impartially and in your best interest?
- Are they able to talk calmly to the people that matter in your life?
There are a number of situations where an Enduring Power of Attorney is essential. One situation is where a husband and wife own their home jointly and the property has a mortgage. If the husband suffers a mental injury and the wife needs to refinance the mortgage or sell the house to reduce their expenses, she would be prevented from doing so without an Enduring Power of Attorney from the husband. The wife’s only way forward would be to apply to the State Administrative Tribunal to be formally appointed to make decisions on behalf of her husband. Such a process can be time consuming and stressful for anyone that is not familiar with court procedures.
Is it time you protected your assets and ensured the continuity of decisions for your finances and real estate if you suffer a mental injury? Contact us to discuss your requirements for your Enduring Power of Attorney. We can prepare the document as a one off instruction or we can prepare it at the same time you make your Will.