Estate planning

Do I need an Enduring Power of Attorney?

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables you to appoint a trusted person (or trustee company) to make financial decisions on your behalf.

You may also appoint a trusted person or the Adult Guardian to make personal/health decisions on your behalf.

The person you appoint is known as an ‘attorney‘.

Who may make an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Anyone over the age of 18 years who has full legal capacity may make an enduring power of attorney. In our view, everyone over the age of 18 years who has full legal capacity, ought to have an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Why make an Enduring Power of Attorney?

If you are ill, travelling or simply do not wish to be burdened with the day-to-day management of your financial affairs an Enduring Power of Attorney enables your attorney to manage your financial affairs in accordance with your wishes when you are unable or do not want to act personally.

It is important to note: once you have lost legal capacity (i.e. if you are in a coma following an accident), you are unable to make an Enduring Power of Attorney until you regain your legal capacity.

What if you don’t have an Enduring Power of Attorney?

If you do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney and decisions need to be made for you, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal may appoint an administrator for your financial decisions or a Guardian for your personal/health decisions.

The person or organisation appointed as your financial Administrator of your Guardian might not necessarily be the person you would have chosen if you had legal capacity.

By making an Enduring Power of Attorney you ensure the person of your choice manages your finances or makes personal decisions on your behalf. By making an Enduring Power of Attorney you can avoid the stress, conflict and anguish that might otherwise be involved if your family or friends are required to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an Order.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is one of the most important documents you will ever sign during your lifetime. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice when drafting an Enduring Power of Attorney to ensure the terms of your attorney’s appointment are appropriate for your circumstances.