Bailiwick Legal specialises in preparing Enduring Powers of Attorneys and Enduring Guardianship Appointments in Western Australia.
An Enduring Power of Attorney – often referred to as an EPA – is a vital legal document. It allows you to nominate a trusted person who will then have the authority to make important financial and personal decisions for you if you are not able to. The EPA provides clarity, safety and guidance for those around you when you no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions.
At Bailiwick Legal our expert Estate lawyers will prepare the relevant prescribed forms used in WA and other states to provide flexibility for you. We provide you with expert and tailored advice as to the process of a Power of Attorney and Power of Guardianship. We will advise you on the specific responsibilities of a Power of Attorney and aid with guardianship and management applications.
For more questions regarding Power of Attorney and Power of Guardianship, contact us today or read the FAQs below for more information.
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An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to nominate a trusted person who will have the power to make important financial and personal decisions for you when you are not able to due to illness or incapacity. These duties may involve tasks such as paying your bills and managing your bank accounts. Being appointed as an attorney has great responsibilities and it is crucial that you appoint a person who is trustworthy and reliable.
To create a legally binding Enduring Power of Attorney you must be:
18 years old or over; and
be of sound and capable mind (“legal capacity”).
For those who don’t have legal capacity, your spouse, close family member or someone with an interest in your affairs can apply to become your financial decision maker. This appointment can only be made upon an application to the State Administrative Tribunal.
The main difference is the duration of the attorney’s power as well as when their power will stand.
A Power of Attorney document allows you to give power to a person while you have full mental capacity and can limit the attorneys power to a specific asset or action. For example say you were going overseas for a period – you could grant a power of attorney to manage your property in your absence but not once you return.
An Enduring Power of Attorney on the other hand can continue to apply even after you have lost legal capacity but must apply to all of your personally owned assets.
Enduring Powers of Attorney are regulated by State based legislation. This means that there are different rules and requirements in each state.
It is important to consult a WA based lawyer for advice on the validity of your WA Enduring Power of Attorney. It is important to consult your lawyer so they can advise you whether your attorneys will have the right to exercise their powers under your Enduring Power of Attorney in other states or whether other steps need to be taken.
If you still have full legal capacity, you can revoke your Enduring Power of Attorney by notifying your attorneys of your decision, preferably in writing. Making a new EPA does not automatically revoke the old one.
If you have lost legal capacity, an attorney, a family member or interested person must apply to the State Administrative Tribunal (“SAT”) and SAT will decide if the Enduring Power of Attorney can be set aside.
If you don’t have an enduring Power of Attorney and you lose mental capacity, there will be no-one with the legal authority to manage your property or finances. Your spouse does not have an automatic right to manage your financial affairs and will not be allowed to access bank accounts that are in your name, or deal with Utilities accounts that are in your name.
A family member or friend will need to go to the State Administrative Tribunal to have a financial administrator appointed. This may not be the person you would have chosen to trust with your finances.
This is why it is important to create an Enduring Power of Attorney. It will give you peace of mind that your assets are administered by those you trust in the event of your incapacity, and that they are acting in your best interest.
Although it is possible for you to make your own Enduring Power of Attorney, this is a risky thing to do. Enduring Powers of Attorney involve the appointment of persons to manage your financial future and current valuable assets. You can ensure the safety of your assets by obtaining legal advice to avoid having your assets fall into the hands of someone who may take advantage.
At Bailiwick Legal, you can contact us to create an expert and customised document that will meet all your needs and requests. We will also explain the right options for your situation so you can make the correct decisions.
For further questions regarding a Power of Attorney or resolving a Will, contact us today