Enduring Power of Attorney

stylized illustrations of people and leaves

What is enduring power of attorney?

An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that gives another person the authority to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.

It is written when you are capable of decision making and can start either immediately or when you lose capacity.

The person you appoint as your attorney does not have to be a lawyer. He or she should be someone you trust to protect you and your estate, manage your assets and pay your bills on your behalf.

However, it is recommended to use a lawyer’s services to document your agreement if your finances or properties are complex or if you anticipate someone may challenge your enduring power of attorney.

How do I set this up?

You must be mentally competent at the time the document is signed.

You can name a single attorney or more than one. If you appoint more than one, you can require that they act separately or jointly.

It is also a good idea to specify how you want them to exercise their authority, make decisions, and communicate with each other.

An enduring power of attorney usually ends when you die.

Why is this important?

If you do not have an enduring power of attorney and you lose the capacity to manage your affairs, someone will have to apply to the court to be appointed to deal with your finances and property.

No one, not even your spouse or adult child, has the legal power to manage your affairs in the absence of an enduring power of attorney or court order. The court application can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

For more information, see the enduring power of attorney section of our resource directory.

stylized illustration of people

Buying a new home?

I’m Eun-Kyung and I am just about to purchase my first home. I have also prepared some instructions about what will happen to the house (and my new puppy) in the event that something happens to me. When you have worked for something for so long, you want to make sure that it just doesn’t vanish.

Wills