What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

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.

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