The why, when and how of the Enduring Power of Attorney

Article Nicolas Moore 14 November 2022

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that forms part of your Estate Planning “Tool Kit”.  It gives another person/s the power to deal with your assets and financial affairs while you are still alive.

When appointing a Power of Attorney it is critical that you trust the person/s appointed to keep your best interests at heart, as your Attorney has the authority to look after your assets and financial affairs.


Why should you make a Power of Attorney?

There are many reasons why you should make a Power of Attorney, including looking after your financial and legal affairs while you are out of the country, in the event of an accident, or in case you lose the mental capacity to look after your own affairs.

Regardless of the reason why you are making a Power of Attorney, the most important thing to do is plan in advance and have your documents signed ahead of time.


When does a Power of Attorney commence?

You may decide when your Power of Attorney is to commence.

A General Power of Attorney may be useful if you are planning on leaving the country for an extended period. In that case, you could arrange for it to commence and operate only during that time.

Unlike a General Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney remains in effect even if you lose mental capacity. The Enduring Power of Attorney may commence when your attorney/s accept their appointment/s, only once a medical professional declares that you are unable to manage your own affairs, once your attorney considers you need assistance managing your affairs, or at another time that you decide.  

A Power of Attorney only operates during your lifetime; it is no longer valid after you die. Upon your death, all of your assets become part of your estate, which is covered by your will. 


How do I make a Power of Attorney appointment?

To begin the process of putting in place a Power of Attorney, simply contact our office on 02 8566 2400 and one of our Wills and Estates lawyers will go through the process with you.