What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”) is a legal agreement signed by you that allows you to choose a trusted family member or friend to look after your financial and property affairs while you are still alive.
An EPA can be drafted to be valid immediately, or only when you are unable to make your own financial decisions due to a medical condition or accident that affects your ability to make financial decisions.
Without an EPA, if you lose the capacity to make your own financial decisions, then your loved ones must apply to the State Administrative Tribunal, who can appoint someone to look after your financial affairs.
All interested parties will be notified of the State Administrative Tribunal proceedings including estranged spouses, children who you may be in conflict with, or other family members who you do not trust.
Each person, whether they care about you or not, will be entitled to give their opinion about your best interests.
The State Administrative Tribunal may choose to appoint a family member or even a third party such as the Public Trustee, who can make financial decisions on your behalf and who often charge fees which may come out of your estate.
For this reason, we highly recommend that you contact Butlers to have an EPA prepared.
This could avoid family conflict and it means that you are the person who appoints someone to take care of your financial affairs, if you no longer can.
Contact us to discuss whether an Enduring Power of Attorney is right for you.