Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) is a legally binding document which allows you to choose someone to have the power to make decisions on your behalf in relation to financial and/or health matters.
An EPOA can work hand in hand with an Advanced Health Directive (see the section on AHD’s for more information).
An EPOA continues after the person who has given it loses the capacity to make decisions (this is why it is referred to as an “enduring” power). Such circumstances are where you are overseas or are ill. In these circumstances your nominated attorney will be able to make decisions on your behalf.
So how does the EPOA differ from a general power of attorney? A general power of attorney simply involves nominating someone to sign documents for you on your behalf if you are absent. This power is very limited and in circumstances where you lose the capacity to make decisions, the general power of attorney will automatically cease.
This is an important power, and we advise all clients to think very carefully as to who they wish to nominate as their Attorney. You should keep in mind that your Attorney may be someone who is not called upon to use their power for many years, and it is important that they will be able to adequately carry out their role when they are required to.
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