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7 things to consider when choosing your Enduring Power of Attorney person

How do you choose someone to be your Enduring Power of Attorney? Nominating a person/s in your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) is a big decision. You are appointing a person/s you trust to make decisions for you about your personal (including possibly health decisions) AND financial matters when you can’t. You need to be of sound mind when you’re appointing them and you need to be able to 100% TRUST the person you are appointing. They will be responsible for making decisions on your behalf regarding your finances, and possibly your health. We’ve put together seven questions to think about when you’re choosing your Attorney.

7 things to consider when choosing your Enduring Power of Attorney person

  1. Are they in the best geographical location to be able to help on your behalf especially if face-to-face contact is necessary?
  2. Do they know your point of view, what you want, and what’s most important to you?
  3. Will they put your needs, rights and interests first, before theirs or anyone else close to you?
  4. Do they know that holding a EPOA is a serious legal responsibility?
  5. Will they be able to communicate clearly and make difficult decisions regarding your healthcare, with the appropriate healthcare providers?
  6. Would they make the same decisions as you regarding health and ongoing care?
  7. You can appoint up to four ‘Joint Enduring Power of Attorneys’ however they must all agree on each decision. Options for more than one Enduring Power of Attorney include; jointly, severally, by a majority, successively or alternatively.

Who is eligible to be an Enduring Power of Attorney?

  • Those with the mental/emotional capacity to make decisions they are appointed for
  • People 18 or older

Who is not eligible to be your Enduring Power of Attorney?

  • Your paid carer or not have been your paid carer in the past 3 years. (A paid carer is someone paid a fee or wage to care for a person, but not someone receiving a carer’s pension or benefit)
  • Your health provider
  • A service provider for a residential service where you live
  • A bankrupt or a person taking advantage of the laws of bankruptcy, if appointed for financial matters

When can an Enduring Power of Attorney make decisions for you?

  • For personal matters, including health, they can make decisions when you no longer have the capacity to do so
  • For financial matters, their ability to make decisions on your behalf starts at a time you choose. Choices include;
    • When you no longer have the ability to decide for yourself
    • Straight away
    • From a particular date
    • In particular circumstances or occasions such as illness, accident, travel.

The risks of having an Enduring Power of Attorney

There is the possibility that the person appointed in your Enduring Power of Attorney could inappropriately conduct your affairs for their benefit. That could include using your money for their own advantage, and selling goods for their own financial gain, among other issues. Choosing someone you trust and know well, can greatly minimise that risk.

To feel comfortable with the person you choose, make sure you sit down and talk to them about what’s important to you. Discuss your wishes with them. Make sure they understand how and who you conduct your financial and health affairs with.

What does it cost to have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
$250 at Yeppoon Lawyers.

If you would like to discuss your Enduring Power of Attorney needs, we can help. You can make an appointment to see Leonie at Yeppoon Lawyers by calling 4925 0229 or emailing reception@yeppoonlawyers.com.au.