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Why do I need an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Why do I need an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Most people realise they need a Will, but did you know that an Enduring Power of Attorney is just as important?

We often consider what will happen when we die; who will get what or who will take guardianship of small children, however, your will is only enforceable after you pass and only then will your wishes will be honoured. But have you ever considered what would happen if you suddenly and uncontrollably found yourself in a situation that left you unable to make decisions on your own behalf? That is where an Enduring Power of Attorney comes in.

So, what is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

When we find ourselves in a position that we lose the capacity to make any decisions on our own behalf or on behalf of our family, if there is no Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place the court can decide who will make your decisions for you. They can appoint an Adult Guardian to make personal or health related decisions or they can appoint someone from the Public Trustees office.

While a Power of Attorney allows someone to make decisions on your behalf for a period of time, an Enduring Power of Attorney operates if and when you lose the capacity to make decisions on your own behalf.  These decisions will apply to anything related to your legal or financial affairs, your property or your personal affairs such as health and well-being.

By having an EPA in place, you can be rest assured that should you find yourself in a position where you can’t make these decisions for yourself, someone you know and trust will make these decisions on your behalf and in your best interest knowing you and your wishes.

Your EPA should be someone you trust implicitly.  This person will be an important part of your life should they have to step in and make decisions for you.  The person you choose will make decisions in your best interest and they should understand the scope and responsibility this role will require.

You can appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney at any time as well as revoke your Power of Attorney if you feel the chosen person will no longer work in your best interests. Your EPA will stand until such time as you pass away.  Once you pass away your executor will step into their role and your will will take effect.

If you are considering a will or Enduring Power of Attorney, speak to our friendly and experienced team today.  We will ensure that all your requests are documented so that you can rest easy knowing your best interests will be at the centre of any decisions made should you be unable to do so.