Burgess Thomson Lawyers

The Role and Responsibilities of an Enduring Power of Attorney

Enduring Power Of Attorney - Businessman

The crucial role Enduring Powers of Attorney play in estate planning and how to ensure that individuals have their wishes honoured when they are no longer able to make decisions.

Deciding how to approach the complex decisions that need to be made in relation to your estate can be tricky and daunting. Often people are unsure of the process to effectively ensure that their wishes, both while alive and after they have passed, are carried out in a secure and effective manner.

In essence, there are several key documents which you may wish to consider creating in order to give effect to your wishes. Chief among these is the Enduring Power of Attorney document that forms the basis for ensuring that financial and legal decisions are made on your behalf both before and in the event of you losing capacity to make these decisions.


The Role of an Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is an effective tool and is generally recommended as it enables someone to act on your behalf should you become to incapacitated to act for yourself due to things such as illness and injury both short and long term.

The responsibilities of an enduring power of attorney can also include appointing someone to manage your domestic affairs should you be abroad to have an experienced individual manage your financial and legal decisions.

The Enduring Power of Attorney can be used for many financial roles and responsibilities, including signing legal documents, paying bills and buying or selling property. They can ensure you have your needs and wishes catered for in the event you choose not to or are unable to act for yourself.


How Do I Choose an Enduring Power of Attorney?

The essential question that is asked by most when discussing the appointment of an attorney is this: “Who should I choose? And will my interests and wishes be maintained?”.

Simply put, in respect of the first question, you may choose anyone you wish to act your attorney. Generally, it is advisable that the person have the capacity to undertake the role and be someone you trust. Integrity and forthrightness are the name of the game when it comes to Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Your Attorney could be a family member, a friend or a trusted professional. If you do not appoint an attorney but became incapable of decision making, the Guardianship Tribunal may need to appoint one for you.

Your attorney is legally bound to operate with your best interests at the forefront of each decision they need to make. They cannot interfere with your right to have your interests and wishes carried out.

When deciding who to choose, you may wish to consider:

  1. Physical proximity to you (i.e. do they live close to you);
  2. Can you trust the person to act in your best interests?;
  3. Do they have capacity to manage financial transactions?
  4. Do they share similar values to you?; and
  5. How long have you known them?


Though certainly not an exhaustive list, these types of questions should give you an indication of how to select an attorney.

The team at Burgess Thomson has substantial expertise in Estate Planning. With over 60 years’ combined experience, our solicitors have successfully assisted many clients from start to finish. We are known for sound advice and our ability to comprehensively answer any questions in our area with utmost diligence.

Experienced solicitors who have a keen eye for detail are becoming more sought after so if you wish to discuss your matter with our team, please do not hesitate to call our office on (02) 4929 5602 to arrange an appointment.


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