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What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney and why do you need one? Imagine if you have an unexpected accident, a severe illness or some other major life event happen. You might not be able to deal with your financial and health matters.  That’s when you need an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA).  Having a current EPOA means there’s less risk of having to choose administrators or guardians when you’re sick, injured, or out of action.

Who needs one?

You might think only older people need an Enduring Power of Attorney.  Not true! If you’re over 18, with possessions, superannuation and bank accounts, and people who care about you, you need one too.

Anyone can have an unexpected accident or experience a severe health issue. When that happens, you could be too sick or injured to deal with important financial and life decisions.  By choosing someone you trust to be your attorney on your EPOA, you can prevent problems before they happen.  They will make the decisions you can’t.

When should you get it?

  1. When you are healthy and well
  2. If you are turning 18 or starting to set up your life by having savings, buying property, cars and other possessions
  3. After you choose the person you trust to make important decisions for you

Why do you need an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Where do we start?  There are so many reasons and so much information you can access to tell you why you need an Enduring Power of Attorney.  We thought we’d get you some real-life examples.

“Thank goodness I have an EPOA for mum, it has made managing mum’s banking and finance, health and medical and other decision-making so much easier. One thing to remember though is It’s A LOT of responsibility.”

“My mum and dad made me get an EPOA when I started full-time work at 21. I’d bought a car, and I had a mortgage.  I never thought I’d need an EPOA.  I thought that was for old people and then I had a car accident that left me unconscious for a while and then unable to do very much at all for myself.  My parents were great. They were able to pay bills, organise my banking and things like that, all because they had that piece of paper, that EPOA.”

“Mum began forgetting things and then it became full-blown dementia pretty quickly.  We had to make some serious decisions for her.  We sold the house, paid for the care home and organised her finances.  We couldn’t have done that so easily and quickly if Mum hadn’t had the foresight to make sure her Enduring Power of Attorney was made.”

Having a valid Enduring Power of Attorney is so useful to deal with stressful life events like losing mental capacity, car accidents, and severe unexpected health issues quickly and easily.  An EPOA makes dealing with these issues manageable. Your nominated person on your EPOA can also help with simple tasks like your banking and picking up prescriptions when you’re no longer able to.

Where can you find one?

There are 6 legal things to think about when you’re choosing the person to be on your EPOA and you can read about them in this previous post. If you take a look at the people you know and trust in your life, you’ll find the right person to be your Enduring Power of Attorney.  A trusted friend, a life mentor, extended family member, are just some of the options for finding the right person to be your Enduring Power of Attorney.

Yeppoon Lawyers Managing Partner Leonie Davey says you never know when you’ll need an Enduring Power of Attorney.

“We have people come in who are trying to sort out their parents’ financial affairs and care arrangements.  We’ve seen it before, there’s no current Will or Enduring Power of Attorney and it makes it so hard for them.  Often decisions need to be made unexpectedly and quite quickly.  It’s very difficult to do that when there’s no EPOA in place.

“Making an EPOA and a Will is such an easy process.  It’s a small investment in time and money that could make a difference later in life,” Leonie says.

“We would put together over 200 Enduring Power of Attorney and Wills every year.  We can honestly say no one regrets spending money or time to safeguard themselves against the unexpected.

Does an Enduring Power of Attorney cost much?

Yeppoon Lawyers’ standard Enduring Power of Attorney documents are $250 and a Will is $220.

Life’s what happens when you’re busy making plans.  You might think ‘that won’t happen to me’ but sometimes the unexpected does. Having an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Will makes sure you’re ready for the unexpected.

To make your Enduring Power of Attorney and/or Will appointment call Leonie Davey from Yeppoon Lawyers. You can book your appointment by calling us on 07 4925 0229 to book your confidential appointment today.