An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is a formal document that allows you (the principal) to appoint another person (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf. “Enduring” means that your attorney’s power continues to operate after you lose mental capacity to make the decisions for yourself. The EPA only operates during your lifetime. Below is some important information you should know about creating an EPA. Who should have an EPA?
If you are over 18 and you want certainty about who will make important decisions for you when you need it most then you need to have an EPA.
What sort of decisions can my attorney make?
Your attorney can make decisions about health and personal matters as well as financial matters.
Health and personal matters – includes decisions about where and with whom you live, day to day issues like your dress, diet and medical treatment.
Financial matters – includes dealing with your income, paying bills and dealing with any assets and government and non government departments.
Who do I appoint as my attorney?
It is important you appoint a person or persons you trust. Your attorney effectively has the authority to make any decisions that you could legally make yourself. The decisions your attorney make are legally binding on you.
What happens if you don’t have an EPA?
Health and personal decisions are made by your “statutory health attorney”. Financial decisions may be made informally or by the Public Trustee until a formal appointment is made by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
When does the power of my attorney begin?
Health and personal matters – your attorney can only make these decisions when you are without capacity.
Financial matters – you can nominate when you want the attorneys power to begin. For example, you may want it to commence immediately or when you are unable to make decisions yourself (or some other arrangement).