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  • Writer's pictureEvan Sarinas

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney and do you Need One?

When planning for the future, it's crucial to consider not just assets and wills, but also who will manage your affairs should you become unable to do so yourself.


In Queensland, an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) is a legal document that plays a critical role in this aspect of future planning.


This blog post will explore the key elements of an EPOA in Queensland, including its purpose, how to set one up, and the responsibilities it entails.

Table of Contents



 

What is an EPOA?


An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document that allows you (the principal) to appoint one or more persons (known as attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf.


What distinguishes an EPOA from a general power of attorney is that it remains effective if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, due to illness or an accident, for example.


Types of Decisions Covered by EPOAs


In Queensland, an EPOA can be set up to give your attorney the authority to make decisions concerning two broad areas:

 

1. Financial matters - This can include paying your bills, managing your investments, and other financial affairs.


2. Personal and health matters - This includes decisions about your health care, where you live, and other personal issues.

 

It's possible to appoint different attorneys for each type of decision, or the same attorney can handle both areas.


Choosing your Attorney


The choice of attorney is a significant one, as this person will have considerable control over aspects of your life. Queensland law requires that an attorney must be over 18 years of age and not your paid carer or health provider. They should be someone trustworthy and capable of managing the responsibilities involved.


Setting up an EPOA


To establish an EPOA in Queensland, specific steps must be followed:

 

1. Form completion: Complete the official EPOA form, which is available online from the Queensland Government's website or from legal practitioners.


2. Signature and witnessing: The form needs to be signed in the presence of a qualified witness, such as a solicitor, commissioner for declarations, or notary public. Your attorney(s) must also sign the form, accepting their appointment.


3. Provide clear instructions: When filling out the form, be clear about when the attorney’s power begins (especially if it is to commence only when you lose capacity) and the extent of the power granted.


Responsibilities as an Attorney


An attorney under an EPOA in Queensland has a legal duty to act honestly and with care in

the best interests of the principal. They must keep records of their dealings as an attorney and avoid transactions that could lead to a conflict of interest unless expressly authorised in the EPOA.


Revoking an EPOA

You may revoke your EPOA at any time while you have the capacity to do so. Revocation must be done in writing and communicated to your attorneys to be effective.


Legal Considerations


Given the power that an attorney has, it’s strongly recommended that you seek legal advice when setting up an EPOA.


This ensures that the document is correctly executed and aligns with your intentions and legal requirements and that you fully understand the terms, nature and effect of this very important document.


Conclusion


An Enduring Power of Attorney is a powerful legal tool in Queensland that ensures your affairs can be managed according to your wishes, even if you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself.


By carefully selecting your attorney and clearly defining their powers, you can safeguard your future wellbeing and peace of mind.


For guidance in setting up your Enduring Power of Attorney and ensuring your future affairs are managed according to your wishes, contact Sarinas Legal today.


Our experienced team of estate planning lawyers can provide you with the expert advice and support you need to navigate this important aspect of Queensland law.


Don't leave your future to chance reach out to Sarinas Legal and secure your peace of mind today.

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