Our legal articles are written by lawyers and legal executives and discuss legal aspects relating to industries, businesses and individuals as well as focusing on everyday legal topics of interest. These articles provide information to help educate our clients on different topics and current events in the law. They may raise additional questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or to discuss your individual situation in more detail.
You may be surprised to learn that decisions relating to your property and welfare can only be made by legally appointed people.
We’ve set out 10 facts regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) to help you on your way to putting these valuable documents in place.
Every adult, no matter what age, should have EPAs in place.
There are two types of EPAs
a. Property; and
b. personal care and welfare (welfare).
Unlike a will, which only has effect after death, EPAs have effect during your life.
You can appoint more than one person to act as your property attorney but only one person at any one time can act as your welfare attorney.
Your welfare attorney can only make decisions for you if you lose mental capacity.
Your property attorney can make decisions for you immediately, if you choose to give them the power to do so.
You may choose the same person to act as your attorney for both welfare and property if they have the qualities required for both distinct roles:
a. Your welfare attorney should be compassionate and caring;
b. Your property attorney should be financially savvy.
If you choose two (or more) different people to act as your attorney, be sure that they get along and can work well together to avoid disastrous and detrimental results.
Without valid EPAs in place your nominated trusted family or friends will be prevented from working with your financial service providers and health care providers and the Court will decide who will act for you.
A lawyer, qualified legal executive or a representative of a trustee company (such as Public Trust) Age Concern or your solicitor can help you put in place EPAs or sign them off if you’re able to prepare them yourself.