Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows appointed individual(s) or an organisation to take care of your financial affairs.  This document is important if your decision-making ability is impaired, or you no longer want the responsibility.

By preparing an enduring power of attorney it ensures you, your loved ones and your property are protected. It is important that you exercise your right to choose an attorney, while you still have the capacity to do so.

We prepare enduring powers of attorney for:

  • those who want to appoint the Public Trustee as their attorney;
  • those who want to appoint another person as their attorney and the Public Trustee as a substitute attorney.

If you would like to make or update your enduring power of attorney, please fill out our appointment booking form and a representative will contact you to confirm your appointment.

What if there is no Enduring Power of Attorney?

If your ability to make decisions about your financial affairs was impaired and you have not appointed an enduring power of attorney, the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) could appoint someone with the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.

To do so, the Tribunal would hold a hearing (involving family members and interested persons) to decide who they should appoint as financial administrator.

The difference with an enduring power of attorney is – you get to choose who your financial administrator will be. You can also ensure that your loved ones do not have to worry about sorting out these affairs when you are in a vulnerable position and need care.

For more information about making an application to the Tribunal, please go to: https://www.tascat.tas.gov.au/guardianship/process or call on 1800 657 500.

What will the Public Trustee do as my Attorney?

Once you appoint us as your attorney, we will manage your financial affairs and our paramount concern will be protecting your financial interests.

We will provide a dedicated client account manager to personally deliver services tailored to your needs. These include management of: real estate, bank accounts, investment portfolios, accounts, tax issues, as well as your dealings with government, community and private agencies.

What happens when my decision-making ability is impaired and the Public Trustee is my attorney?

If you have appointed us as your attorney, we rely on notification from someone who knows you (e.g. relatives or friends) to say your you can no longer manage your financial affairs due to your impaired decision-making ability. Once this is received we will request written evidence from your treating doctor to confirm this. The enduring power of attorney document will then be registered with the Land Titles Office and we will begin to act.

What happens when my decision-making ability is impaired and the Public Trustee is my substitute attorney?

If you have appointed us as your substitute attorney, your attorney will need to arrange written confirmation from your treating doctor to explain that you can no longer manage your financial affairs due to your impaired decision-making ability. They are to bring this with them, along with their photo identification (e.g. drivers licence), when they collect your enduring power of attorney document.

An appointment is necessary – please call your nearest Public Trustee branch or fill out the appointment form

What happens if I still have decision-making ability but no longer wish to manage some or all of my financial affairs?

Often people activate their enduring power of attorney to free up time permanently or assist them for certain periods while they are unwell or overseas. This can include the collection of income; payment of bills; maintenance and management of property and processing of health fund accounts. If you have appointed the Public Trustee as your attorney, simply contact us and advise you no longer wish to handle your financial affairs. We will then arrange for your enduring power of attorney document to be registered with the Land Titles Office and begin to act.

If you have appointed the Public Trustee as your substitute attorney, you will need to collect your enduring power of attorney document from our office. If you are unable to personally collect the power of attorney document, please contact our office.

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about enduring powers of attorney. If you have any further questions please contact your nearest Public Trustee branch or call 1800 068 784.

An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows appointed individual(s) or organisations to take care of your financial affairs. This document is important if your decision-making ability is impaired, or you no longer want the responsibility.

If the Public Trustee was nominated as your enduring power of attorney, we would be there to make independent and informed financial decisions on your behalf. If you can no longer manage your financial affairs (due to accident or illness) you will not be able to operate a bank account, pay bills, complete your tax return, manage your investments or do anything associated with your financial wellbeing.

An enduring power of attorney allows you to choose who will take on the responsibilities of managing your financial affairs if your decision-making ability is impaired. Acting as an attorney is a demanding job and requires a wide range of responsibilities. A sound knowledge of legal, business, financial and investment issues is crucial. It is important to choose someone you trust to make decisions in line with your wishes.

Here are some facts about enduring powers of attorney:

  • An enduring power of attorney deals only with the management of your financial affairs, not personal or medical decisions (this is called an enduring guardianship);
  • An enduring power of attorney’s responsibilities can begin after registration of the document at the Land Titles Office;
  • An enduring power of attorney is operative during your lifetime only (unless declared bankrupt) but automatically ceases on your death.

Now! The time to prepare an enduring power of attorney is when you are healthy, aware and in control. It is designed to help you when you are unable to act for yourself. If you don’t have a formal arrangement already in place and you have a serious accident or become unwell, it can be very difficult to then appoint someone to act on your behalf.

Situations can arise when you need someone to manage your financial affairs. For example, declining health, accidents or illness and the onset of age-related disabilities, may diminish your capacity to make clear decisions about your financial affairs.

Preparing an enduring power of attorney ensures you protect yourself, those closest to you, and your property. Exercise your right to choose an attorney whilst you have the capacity to do so.

If your decision-making ability is impaired, you may not be able to operate a bank account, pay bills, sell property, complete your tax return, manage your investments, or deal with any of your financial affairs.

As a rule of thumb, all you need to bring along when you make an enduring power of attorney appointment is:

  • current proof of identity such as a driver’s license or passport;
  • reading glasses if you need them;
  • a list of your assets;
  • details of who you wish to appoint as your attorney, including their full names (correct spelling) and address.

You can appoint any adult with legal capacity who agrees to the appointment. If the need arises, your attorney will be in control of your financial affairs. It is vital that you have confidence in your attorney to make wise decisions on your behalf and have your best interests at heart.

Acting as an attorney is a demanding job filled with wide ranging responsibilities. It requires a good working knowledge of legal, business, financial and investment matters. It may be unreasonable to ask a friend or relative to take on this role. That is why many people choose to appoint the Public Trustee as their attorney.

Attributes of a good attorney

Someone who…

  • is not busy with family and work commitments, to ensure that they have enough time for the role;
  • has financial and/ or legal skills, as some estates can be very complicated, especially if there are share portfolios or investment properties;
  • will keep personal finances separate from their own and keep accurate records of dealings and transactions;
  • can make potentially difficult decisions free from pressure and emotion (e.g. selling family home and contents);
  • is not susceptible to other forms of influence;
  • can be trusted to act in the best interests of the individual, now and in the future;
  • understands and accepts that they are liable for the decisions they make;
  • is accessible and accountable.

The Public Trustee is an independent, impartial and professional organisation. Its core business is estate, trust, and financial administration – we have done it for over 160 years and we do it well. We also offer you a number of distinct advantages:

  • Reliability – unlike an individual, our ability to act as your attorney is continuous and not affected by changes in personal circumstances. We have been in Tasmania, for all Tasmanians, since 1853 and we will be here for you when you need us.
  • Understanding – we are familiar with the natural confusion that follows sudden accident or illness. You can be assured that we will handle the situation with compassion and understanding.
  • Experience – we are Tasmania’s most experienced trustee organisation, yet we pride ourselves on offering up-to-date advice and service.
  • Expertise – we have experienced, qualified and professional staff including solicitors and accountants. This expertise ensures we make independent and impartial decisions on your behalf.

An enduring power of attorney begins to operate after being registered at the Land Titles Office. Your signed enduring power of attorney remains inactive until you instruct us to have it legally registered.

If you suddenly are incapable of managing your financial affairs due to illness or injury, your attorney can register your enduring power of attorney for you. They will then begin acting to protect your financial interests. Another reason might also be that you simply no longer want the responsibility of managing your financial affairs.

Until your enduring power of attorney is activated, you will maintain full and independent financial control.  However, you can have peace of mind knowing that in your time of need there will be immediate access to essential assistance.

Sometimes people wish to activate their enduring power of attorney in order to free up their time or to assist them during certain periods, for example: while they are unwell or overseas. This can include the collection of income to cover the cost of bills, property maintenance and management, and processing health fund accounts. If you have appointed us as your attorney, simply let us know that you no longer wish to handle your financial affairs. We will then arrange for your enduring power of attorney document to be registered with the Land Titles Office and begin to act.

If you have appointed the Public Trustee as your substitute attorney, you will need to collect your enduring power of attorney document from our office. If you are unable to personally collect the power of attorney document, please contact our office.

People wanting to use an enduring power of attorney executed under the laws of another jurisdiction and/or registered in another State or Territory in Tasmania, need to seek legal advice as to whether or not it is recognised under the Act or if it needs to be registered under the Act.

Part 6 of the Act deals with ‘foreign’ powers of attorney.

To avoid complications, it is highly recommended to create your Enduring Power of Attorney in the State you reside in.

Initial Cost

(From 25 February 2021) 

Estate Planning Preparation fees (incl. GST)Single PersonCouple
Will preparation(Appointment Includes preparing an enduring power of attorney)$140$210
Enduring power of attorney preparation(Financial matters)$140$210
Enduring guardianship preparation(Personal and medical matters)$140$210

If the estate planning documents are complex to prepare an hourly fee of $295 (pro rata) may apply.

A standard Will and enduring power of attorney are prepared free for Seniors and Australian Government Pensioner concession card holders when the Public Trustee is appointed as executor/attorney (card must be presented and only applies to one appointment per year).

  • If you nominate Public Trustee as your executor fees will apply when we are required to administer your estate when you pass away
  • If you nominate Public Trustee your attorney fees will apply if we are required to manage your affairs due to your impaired decision-making ability or if you choose for us to manage your financial affairs.
  • Existing clients of the Public Trustee receive a 10% discount to prepare/revise new estate planning documents.
  • Fees for couples are based on the assumption instructions are similar.
  • Will (with an enduring power of attorney), Enduring power of attorney and guardianship preparation fees are based on the following standard appointment times
    • Single person – 1 hour to take instructions + 30 minutes to draft the documents + 30 minutes for the documents to be signed.
    • Couples – 1.5 hours to take instructions + 30 minutes to draft the documents + 30 minutes for the documents to be signed.
  • If you need more time than a standard appointment to provide your instructions and/or for us to provide advice to complete your documents, we will discuss your options with you before additional time is charged.  If required additional time has an hourly charge of $295 billable on a pro rata basis of $29.50 for each 6 minute unit actually undertaken to complete your documentation. 
  • There is an additional Government registration fee to register an enduring guardianship and or an enduring power of attorney. If the Public Trustee is asked to register an enduring power of attorney an administration fee is also charged. Enduring guardianship documents must be registered by the individual.
  • Telephone, online and office appointments are available.

To act as attorney

If the Public Trustee is acting as the attorney, a pro rata fee of $120 per hour will be charged. A time sheet is kept and fees will be charged quarterly.

Income Commission

The Public Trustee charges 6.6% commission on the receipt of all income such as interest, dividends, pensions and rental income (where the Public Trustee is managing the property).  3.3% commission is charged on rental income where the Public Trustee is not managing the property.

Investment Management Fee

A 1.1% investment management fee may apply to invested funds not directly managed by the Public Trustee.

The following fees and charges may apply: 

  • account keeping fee ($13.50 per month);
  • domestic cheque drawing ($6.00) and direct credit ($3.20);
  • international bank transfers ($24.00) and international bank drafts ($32.00), excluding any 3rd party transaction and processing fees;
  • investment review fees for developing an investment strategy for the client portfolio. The fee charged is dependent upon the complexity of individual circumstances;
  • depending on the complexity of the matter a fee will be charged for the preparation and lodgment of income tax returns and other taxation services including the establishment of the acquisition details of assets for capital gains tax purposes;
  • a fee for conveyancing and other services provided in relation to the sale, purchase or transfer of a property; and/or
  • work of a particularly complex nature not covered above will be charged at an hourly rate.

Legal Services

Services provided by our legal practitioners are charged at a rate determined by the Public Trustee but not exceeding the maximum hourly attendance rate set out in the Supreme Court Rules 2000.

Sign Up to receive our news

We’ll keep you informed but not overwhelmed.

Follow us

Your feedback

Give us a compliment

Tell us your complaint

Make a suggestion