What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document where you appoint one or more persons to make decisions on your behalf.  “Enduring" means that the power continues even if you lose your capacity to make decisions through, for example, an accident or illness.  You can also make provision to allow decisions to be made for your when it is inconvenient for you to attend to your own affairs, for example, when you are on holiday overseas.

This system will allow you to decide,

a) how your attorneys must act eg jointly,severally or successively;

b) when you want the power to start;

c) whether you want to place any restrictions on the power;

d) how conflicts of interest with your enduring attorney are handled;

e) whether your enduring attorney is specifically authorised to renew your superannuation Binding Death Benefit Nomination.

What Things Can My Attorney Not Do

You cannot give an attorney the power to make decisions about special or personal matters such as making your Will or appointing another attorney, voting at elections or consenting to adoption or marriage.

Your Enduring Attorney also has no power in relation to special health matters such as donation of your body tissue, sterilization, pregnancy termination, research or experimental health care for certain psychiatric or other health care.

Withholding Life Sustaining Medical Treatment

In the event you become terminally ill, or become unconscious, your attorney can consent to the withdrawal or withholding of life sustaining medical treatment.

Please note that you can also give instructions about this kind of decision if you make an Advance Health Directive.   The instructions in an Advance Health Directive override any decision of your attorney.

If you have questions about Enduring Powers of Attorney or an Advance Health Directive, please contact Hall Payne Lawyers on Toll Free: 1800 659 114.

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