Enduring powers of attorney

What are enduring powers of attorney?

Enduring powers of attorney (EPAs) are legal documents that allow you to appoint someone you trust to make important decisions on your behalf if you can’t make these decisions yourself due to illness or injury.

There are two types of enduring power of attorney:

  • Personal care and welfare EPA – you appoint someone to make decisions about your wellbeing, such as where you live and how you will be cared for.
  • Property EPA – you appoint someone or a specialist organisation to take care of your finances and property, such as paying bills and managing assets.

Why do I need EPAs?

EPAs are as important as wills. Without them, managing your affairs can become difficult for your family.

For instance, even simple tasks such as paying your bills can be a struggle if your familycan’t legally access your accounts.

Your family may feel powerless, leaving the Family Court to decide how to manage your property and personal matters.

With EPAs in place, decisions about your wellbeing, finances and property can be made by those you trust and in the way you want.

When do enduring powers of attorney become effective?

For a personal care and welfare attorney, the EPA authority comes into effect when the donor is deemed mentally incapable of acting for themselves.

For a property EPA, the donor can choose when the authority becomes effective – immediately (even while they are mentally capable) or only after they are deemed mentally incapable. The appointed attorney holds the same level of authority as the donor, but the donor can place restrictions on the attorney’s authority.

What’s the difference between an ordinary power of attorney and an enduring power of attorney?

Ordinary powers of attorney are best used for temporary purposes – for example, if you’re going overseas and want someone to be able to send you cash from your accounts or to pay bills here.

Enduring powers of attorney are for longer-term protection. These work after you’ve become mentally incapable, while an ordinary power of attorney would lapse.

At Public Trust we only prepare enduring powers of attorney.

Do I need a lawyer to get a power of attorney?

No, but we recommend getting advice from a lawyer or a trustee organisation.

Can I set up an enduring power of attorney myself?

You can prepare one yourself but it can be quite difficult. It’s always better to get help from a reputable provider.

What do I need to think of before getting my EPAs?

You need to think carefully about who to choose as an attorney and ensure they understand their role and responsibilities.

You can decide when an EPA comes into effect and can add special terms and conditions. You can also state who you want your attorney to report to and consult with when making decisions on your behalf.

What’s the cost?

Each EPA costs $289 including GST. Find out more about EPA costs and take the next step:

EPA consultations and costs

Find out more

Are you ready to take the next step? We’re here to help. To find out more about EPAs or to make an appointment, get in touch online or call us on 0800 371 471.