Enduring Powers of Attorney are an important part of your estate planning matters. Without them, if you become incapacitated due to an accident or serious illness, your loved ones would need to obtain an order from the Family Court to be able to make decisions on your behalf.
With Enduring Powers of Attorney, the person that you appoint as your Attorney is able to make decisions on your behalf. You therefore need to think carefully about who you appoint as your Attorney as you are giving them a lot of responsibility. This person should be somebody you trust and who has a good understanding of your wishes.
There are two types of Enduring Powers of Attorney, one in relation to property which includes anything you own, lease, hire, any land or buildings, money, investments, shares, businesses, household effects, vehicles, boats etc and any interest in them or right in respect of them. You can choose for the property Enduring Power of Attorney to come into effect immediately and to continue if you are certified mentally incapable or you can choose for it to come effect affect only if you are certified mentally incapable. Any certification as to your mental capacity must be carried out by a relevant health practitioner.
The other Enduring Power of Attorney is in relation to your personal care and welfare which includes your health, well-being and enjoyment of life, including where you live and medical treatment you receive. This Enduring Power of Attorney will only come into effect if you are certified mentally incapable.
Enduring Powers of Attorney are flexible in that they allow you to appoint multiple or successor Attorneys as well as placing restrictions or conditions on your Attorney.
Enduring Powers of Attorney are an important document that can be hugely beneficial in the event that they are needed. They are often prepared at the same time as your Will but they can be set up at any time and stage of life. At TODD & WALKER Law we regularly prepare Enduring Powers of Attorney and recommend that if you have not yet considered setting these up that you give some consideration to what assets you have that may need to be taken care of and who you may choose to appoint as your attorney.
For advice and further information on setting up or reviewing your Enduring Powers of Attorney, please contact one of our experienced Estate Planning team on [email protected] or 03 441 2743.