An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) is a legal document which sets out who can take care of your personal or property matters if you are unable to.
It can be drawn up for personal care and welfare, authorising your attorney (often a family member or trusted friend) to make decisions relating to your health and welfare, such as choosing a rest home or medical treatment, and can only come into effect if you lose your mental capacity due to illness, accident or age-related disease.
If you do not have one set up and you are not able to manage anymore your family would need to apply to the Family Court to have someone appointed as a welfare guardian. This can be expensive and time-consuming and the Court may not appoint the person you would have chosen.
An EPOA can also be set up specifically for property matters, providing your attorney with the power to make decisions relating to your money and property. It can be used immediately, or only if you lose mental capacity. It could be used, for example, if you are out of the country for a long time and you need someone to keep an eye on your financial affairs.
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