At Cass Legal our lawyers know it is important that you have an Enduring Power of Attorney. An enduring power of attorney provides you with the ability to give a trusted person the authority to make decisions on your behalf about financial and/or health matters. An enduring power of attorney is very effective in the event that you are not able to manage your own affairs (for example if you have a stroke or are in hospital or you are overseas and need to sell property). It will be necessary to appoint an Attorney to do this for you, this is done by making an enduring power of attorney.
In Queensland an Enduring Power of Attorney is a legally binding document governed by legislation which provides protection for you on terms that you decide. It is single document that provides wide protection for your personal and health matters, as well as relative to your matters of a financial nature. You can appoint a trusted friend and/or a relative to act on your behalf to handle your affairs, and this person or persons are known as your Attorney. You can particularize in this type of document how you wish your attorney (or attorneys if more than one), carry out their obligations on your behalf.
The financial matters component of your Enduring Power of Attorney can come into effect either immediately, upon you losing capacity, or on a specific date or even upon the occurrence of a specific event. The power that you nominate to your attorney may enable your attorney to help you, for example, by assisting you with your banking requirements, or to support you when visiting with your medical practitioner, or with your pharmaceutical purchases; as well as a host of other matters that you might reasonably require.
You may grant your attorney the right to handle your affairs on your behalf, or otherwise (subject to your level of capacity), in accord with your then directions. In the event that you do lose capacity either through illness or accident or otherwise, then it is under the power of this document that your nominated attorney can continue to act on your behalf and in your best interests. Clearly nominating your attorney is an important decision. However you may take comfort to know that the legislation governing enduring powers of attorney in Queensland offers the greatest protection against conflict transactions relative to your financial matters, and further imposes a duty and obligation on your attorney to act in your best interests, to consider your wishes and your continued well-being.
We at Cass Legal are always willing to discuss with our clients how you can limit the powers you give to your attorney and how your attorney is to manage your affairs on your behalf. You can nominate when you would like for your Enduring Power of Attorney to commence for example immediately or upon you loosing capacity. At Cass Legal we understand that making an enduring power of attorney before you need it, will avoid significant difficulties when your family are required to make decisions about your assets and medical care if you are unable to make the decisions on your own behalf. If something should happen to you and you do not have an enduring power of attorney your family members will not have the legal ability to make the necessary decisions regarding your welfare without having to apply to a Tribunal for an order appointing them as Attorney/Guardian.
Your Will does not cover circumstances that may arise if you become incapacitated and need assistance. Your will only applies when you die. Your Attorney is different to the Executor mentioned in your Will, however you can appoint the same person for both positions if you wish. An enduring power of attorney is only effective whilst you are alive and your Will is only effective once you have died. At Cass Legal our experienced Gold Coast Lawyers can help guide you through the legalities of an Enduring Power of Attorney and assist you in making the right choices.