How do you you choose an Enduring Power of Attorney?
How do you you choose an Enduring Power of Attorney? You’re first international trip in two years is booked, your passport has been renewed, your travel insurance is sorted, so you need an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Think about it. You’re overseas or interstate, you’ve got urgent money matters to sort out. What happens if you can’t get to the bank or your accountant to sort out your money matters? Or you might get injured while you’re travelling and you need someone to help you organise your medical care or return to Oz. You need an Enduring Power of Attorney. An Enduring Power of Attorney can be you when you can’t.
Every clever traveller knows you need a current passport, travel insurance an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Will, but who should you choose for your Enduring Power of Attorney and what do they do?
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of attorney (EPOA) is the role you give to a friend, family member or other trusted person to make personal, health or financial decisions on your behalf if you can’t. It goes without saying that person must be someone you trust and someone you’ve talked to in detail about the decisions you need to be made if you’re injured, incapacitated or not able to make them yourself. The person you choose for your EPOA doesn’t need legal experience, but they do need to be able to make decisions that might be hard or controversial to those around you.
Director Cam Schroder says choosing who your Enduring Power of Attorney is might not seem like a big deal but it really is.
“Choosing someone to be your Enduring Power of Attorney could be one of the most important things you every do. Your Enduring Power of Attorney will make decisions about your finances, property and sometimes even your health care. It’s essential that you TRUST the person you pick to represent you when you can’t,” he said.
7 legal things to consider when choosing an Enduring Power of Attorney
- They must be over 18 years old
- They can’t be your paid carer or have been your paid carer in the last 3 years
- They can’t be your health provider
- They can’t be your service provider in your residential care facility
- They can’t be bankrupt or taking advantage of the laws of bankruptcy, if appointed for financial matters=
- They don’t need to have legal experience
- You need to specify the time periods and circumstances when they can step in on your behalf
6 more things to consider when choosing a power of attorney for health and financial matters
Your decisions don’t end there. After you’ve ticked off your legal obligations consider the following criteria to choose an enduring Power of Attorney. Look for someone who:
- Knows your point of view, what you want and what’s most important to you
- Will always have your needs, rights, and interests as more important than theirs or anyone else close to you
- Knows that being a Power of Attorney holds serious legal responsibilities and obligations regarding the actions to be undertaken
- Is strong and confident enough to make and clearly communicate decisions about your healthcare and wellbeing with the appropriate healthcare providers
- Will make the best decision about your financial matters
- Can communicate clearly and confidently with health, financial, legal and property practitioners on your behalf
Lawyer & Partner Leonie Davey says you can’t leave what you want to chance and hope that the people around you will make the right decisions for you.
“If you’re going to be travelling overseas or even interstate again, now that the borders are opening, you really must have an Enduring Power of Attorney and a current Will. And even if you’re not travelling, those two legal documents are really important for anyone over 18 to have in place.
“When you’re over 18 and you start to get property, possessions and things like shares behind you, with travelling now back on the cards, you want to make sure that if something happens to you, you’ve put in place a someone trusted to assist you and follow through on your wishes and you want your wishes regarding your possessions and finances put down on paper.
“If you don’t have a will, the government in your state or territory gets to decide who your assets go to. That can also be a long and involved process. Similarly, if you don’t have an Enduring Power of Attorney and something happens while you’re away that can be a challenge for people to help you with health and financial matters.
“It’s so important to make sure that everyone around is your clear what needs to happen when you can’t make important decisions about your health, assets and financial matters, whether that’s through injury, illness or other circumstances.
“It’s not a lengthy process, and we can step people through what they need to do,” Leonie said.
If you would like us to put together you Will or Power of Attorney call us now on 4925 0229 to book your appointment.