What is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

What is an EPA?

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document appointing an attorney to act on your behalf if you cannot or do not wish to. Unlike a Will, an EPA operates while you are alive.

Setting up an EPA will give you peace of mind that your assets and personal welfare will be properly managed on a temporary or permanent basis by someone you trust, if you become unable to do so.

There are two types of EPAs: one for property, and the other personal care and welfare.

A property EPA allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs. A personal care and welfare allows you to appoint someone to make decision about your personal health and well-being in the event you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.

Everyone over 18 years of age should sign an Enduring Power of Attorney. You never know what to expect in life. You may need to travel overseas at short notice, have a serious accident, suffer an illness such as a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease, or want someone else to look after your affairs as you get older.

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) can ensure that someone you trust will look after the things that matter.

How do EPAs work?

If you don’t have an EPA and an important decision must be made or document signed, your family or friends must apply to the Family Court (under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988) so they can help you and legally manage your affairs. This can be costly and time-consuming and the Court may appoint someone that you would not choose.

That’s why the best time to provide for maximum and ongoing control over your assets and welfare is now. Many people prepare an EPA when they complete or review their Will.

Both types of EPA can be prepared by Perpetual Guardian. However, whilst we can be appointed as a property attorney, only a private individual can be appointed as a personal care and welfare attorney. We suggest you nominate someone you trust implicitly, such as a friend or relative, to act in this capacity.

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