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Why have an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Clients often resist when advised to have an Enduring Power of Attorney put in place.  I am often met with the response “I will arrange a Power of Attorney when I need one”.  However, often when the Enduring Power of Attorney is needed, the client no longer has the capacity to make an Enduring Power of Attorney.

None of us have the ability to predict the future.  However, Mullane & Lindsay often receive calls from concerned relatives enquiring as to whether we hold an Enduring Power of Attorney for a spouse, parent, aunt and so on.  The message is that everyone should have an Enduring Power of Attorney.  As each person becomes older, then it becomes more important. 

It can happen that a young person is in a situation where a Power of Attorney can assist if an unforeseen event occurs.  It goes without saying that the attorney appointed must be a person trusted (without reservation) by the appointor.  The attorney must act in the best interests of the appointor and unless the Enduring Power of Attorney provides for it, cannot benefit himself or herself.  If the appointor has children and trusts one and not the other, then he or she must resist the temptation to appoint both children as attorneys simply because the child who is not trusted may be offended.  The child who is not trusted should not be appointed.  If the appointment of one child over another is likely to cause ongoing difficulties within the family, then a third party should be appointed as the attorney.  The third party must be trusted by the appointor without reservation.

Everyone should have an Enduring Power of Attorney.

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