Enduring Power of Attorney
- What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
- Who should make an Enduring Power of Attorney
- What is an Attorney?
- What does an Attorney for Financial Matters take care of?
- The Public Trustee as your Attorney for Financial Matters
- What does an Attorney for Personal and Health Matters take care of?
- An Attorney is accountable
- Attorney's have been known to mismanage finances
- Making an Enduring Power of Attorney with The Public Trustee
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that outlines who you would like to manage your affairs; such as when you no longer have capacity to do so.
People can lose capacity for decision making for reasons such as intellectual or psychiatric disability, acquired brain injury, dementia or temporary illness such as delirium.
Losing capacity does not just happen to people who are ageing. A loss of capacity can happen at anytime in a person’s life and this loss may be temporary or permanent.
If you are over 18 and have capacity to understand the nature and the effect of the power you are giving an Attorney, it’s important you plan for your future by making an Enduring Power of Attorney
An Attorney is the person you nominate to manage your affairs. You can have more than one Attorney. Attorney/s can be appointed to manage your financial matters and/or your personal and health matters.
You can specify when your Attorney/s powers begin and you can also specify what powers they will have. This is often referred to as the ‘limits of your Attorney/s powers'.
A financial Attorney can perform a range of duties such as:
- ensuring your bills are paid
- preparing your tax returns
- managing your investments
When we manage your financial affairs, you can be sure that we are impartial and have your best interests at heart.
You can chose to appoint us as your Attorney, or we may be appointed as your Financial Administrator by The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
An Attorney for personal matters can attend to things such as where you will live, who you will live with and your recreational activities.
An Attorney for health matters can attend to certain medical decisions, treatment options and medicines.
An Attorney is personally accountable for their actions. If your Attorney mismanages your affairs whether deliberately or by negligence; they can be held liable for their actions. This can include facing court proceedings to recover money and even criminal charges.
The Adult Guardian has powers to investigate complaints if somebody with an Enduring Power of Attorney, for financial, health or personal matters is acting improperly.
There have been numerous instances of family or friends mismanaging their role as Attorney.
This can include selling a person’s assets and retaining the money for themselves and/or transferring ownership of assets into their names.
When investigated, common responses are 'Mum, wanted us to have the money'; 'Dad doesn't need the money and we do' and 'The money is not doing them any good in the nursing home and we have a mortgage to pay'.
Experience shows these types of reasons are generally not accepted by The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and may result in legal action against the Attorney to recoup money on behalf of the person with incapacity.
The Public Trustee is able to assist you to make your Enduring Power of Attorney for a competitive fee. To make an Enduring Power of Attorney you must be an adult capable of making your own personal and financial decisions. You need to be able to:
- understand the nature and effect of a decision
- freely and voluntarily make those decisions; and
- communicate the decisions in some way.
An Enduring Power of Attorney must also be witnessed correctly.
At The Public Trustee we are able to witness your Enduring Power of Attorney and supply you with a certified copy. It’s as simple as making an appointment to visit your nearest Public Trustee Office.