ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY
(we’ll call it an “EPA”)
What is a Power of Attorney?
A document that you sign to give someone else authority to do things on your behalf. You direct the attorney what to do for you, for example withdraw money from a bank account to pay a bill or sell a property for you, if you are overseas on a holiday.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney that continues even if you can’t give directions. That is, the attorney makes the decisions for you. The attorney can make financial decisions for you, like operating a bank account and can also make decisions about your health and welfare.
Why make an EPA?
You may not be able to give directions because of illness or injury. Having appointed an attorney allows immediate decisions to be made about your important affairs PLUS the decisions are made by the person you chose.
Is making an EPA difficult?
No, the forms (prescribed by the Queensland Government) are relatively simple, but care should be taken about how the form is completed, and additions can be made to make the most of the document.
Who should I appoint as my Attorney?
Its your decision but a solicitor can assist in making that decision. There are common scenarios, such as a husband and a wife appointing each other or a young person appointing a parent, but back-up scenarios should be considered as well.
What sort of decisions would my Attorney make for me?
Financial decisions such as paying bills or investing monies, and personal/health decisions such as undergoing medical procedures or where you are accommodated.
What happens if I am injured or become so ill that I can’t make decisions and I haven’t made an EPA?
There are a number of close relatives who are authorised to make health and welfare decisions for you (whether you would want them to be authorised or not). Financial decisions can’t be made unless someone, usually a close relative, applies for an Administration Order to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“QCAT”), a lengthy, troublesome and sometimes expensive process.
We’re married. Do we just make the one joint EPA?
No. Each person must sign their own EPA.
How accountable is my Attorney?
The attorney is made accountable for their actions by legislation, subject to review by the Courts or QCAT.
If I’ve made an EPA then die, does the EPA remain effective?
No. An EPA ceases to have any power on the death of the person who signed it.