What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

26 October 2023

An Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”) is a legal document which allows you to appoint someone, known as your “attorney”, to make important decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to make those decisions yourself due to mental incapacity.

There are two different types of EPA:

  1. Property

    This gives your attorney the authority to make decisions about your assets. This can include managing your bank accounts, buying and selling property, paying bills, and the overall management of your finances and assets.

  2. Personal Care and Welfare

    This gives your attorney the authority to make decisions relating to your health. This can include arranging doctor’s appointments, consenting to medical treatments, and decisions relating to your living arrangements.

Why do we need Enduring Powers of Attorney?

If you become mentally incapable without having an EPA in place, your family will need to apply to the Family Court to gain authority to make decisions on your behalf. These proceedings can be very costly, time consuming, and stressful for families. There is also a risk that the Court will appoint someone to this role who you may not have wished to be chosen.

Having Enduring Powers of Attorney in place allows you to plan ahead and avoid complicated legal situations for your family. You have assurance in appointing someone you trust to care for your best interests when you are unable to.

If you would like help setting up an Enduring Power of Attorney, please contact us.

Jasmine Muhlmann-Brown is part of our Private Client team at Norris Ward McKinnon.