An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document that allows the person you appoint to deal with either your money and property or to make decisions about your personal care and welfare if you lack the capacity to make or communicate these decisions yourself.
Generally an Enduring Power of Attorney takes effect when you lose the ability to make or communicate decisions about your property or your personal care and welfare. An example could be if you are involved in a car accident and suffer a brain injury or if you developed dementia. In both these situations you may be unable to make or understand important decisions. The person appointed under the Enduring Power of Attorney is able to make these decisions on your behalf.
If you lose capacity and do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, no one can make any decisions on your behalf unless and until they apply to the Family Court to be appointed a Property Manager or Welfare Guardian under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988. This is a lengthy and costly process. Orders made by the Family Court are inflexible and if someone is appointed a Property Manager or Welfare Guardian, their appointment lasts for a maximum of three (3) years and then another application to the Court must be made – incurring further cost, time and stress. It is very important that you execute Enduring Powers of Attorney while you are fit and healthy, as you never know what is around the corner!
If you would like further information on Enduring Powers of Attorney, or would like to make an appointment to set these up, please contact Michael, Nicole or Bruce on (06) 356-4960.