Enduring Power of Attorney
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA)?
An EPOA is someone who would like you to act as your Attorney or your Substitute Attorney if the person initially appointed is unable to fulfil the role. If the person accepts the appointment as your Attorney, they will then be empowered to attend to all of your financial affairs should you ever suffer a loss of mental incapacity. For example, if you suffer a stroke, coma or any other incident that results in you losing mental capacity. If you lose mental capacity, an EPOA enables the person appointed to attend to your financial affairs and to sign documents on your behalf. The most common examples include:
- Operate bank accounts
- Buy and sell shares
- Change term investments
- Buy and sell real estate; or
- Do anything to do with property, money or finances
All of the above applies equally if you have appointed someone as a “substitute/replacement” Attorney. However, the appointment does not begin until they have first been notified. Please be aware that a certificate may be required by a doctor or a lawyer if you need to act as a consequence of the first appointed Attorney not being able (e.g. if the first appointed Attorney has died or is no longer able for any reason to act).
Accordingly, it is recommended that if the first appointed Attorney does die or is no longer able to act for any reason, you should obtain advice. This will ensure you will not have any difficulty in assuming your role should the need arise (e.g. by arranging for a certificate from a doctor or a solicitor to be attached to the current document certifying the first appointed Attorney had died or is no longer able to act or, alternatively, if you still has mental capacity, having a new EPOA prepared.
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