Health Check for your Enduring Power of Attorney0
Part 1 of this series contained the first four questions of a quiz everyone should take to ensure your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) will actually work if ever called upon.
Here are three more of those quiz questions*:
5. If you have appointed more than one Attorney, how are they to act?
If the Attorneys are appointed to act “jointly” or by some form of “majority”, the arrangements can, in practice become unworkable. It is frequently not understood that the workload for Attorneys can run into many hundreds of (big and small) tasks. If the EPOA requires two or more of the Attorneys to “work together” then none of that workload can be shared/divided between the Attorneys because each of them will be required to do (that is redouble-up and redo) 100% of the job. If the appointment is marked as “several”, the Attorneys then are able to divide and share up the work. There are protections against anyone turning “rogue” because the Attorneys remain
obligated to confer.
6. Is the Attorney (for financial matters) expressed to activate “immediately” or “upon incapacity”?
For some, incapacity happens permanently and suddenly. For many others however, it is a gradual decline where the person moves back and forth between capacitated and incapacitated states. If the EPOA is expressed to activate “only on incapacity” and the affected person is in the gradual decline scenario, they will potentially have to be repetitively hauled off to their doctor for a ruling as to whether they have lost or still retain capacity each and every single time the EPOA is to be used. This torturous problem is easily avoided by marking the EPOA to activate “immediately”.
7. Do you have or know where the original EPOA is?
If the original EPOA has been misplaced and you only hold a (uncertified) copy, it is likely that if the EPOA is ever needed, it cannot be used without the original being produced.
*for the full quiz please see our website at www.zandelaw.com.au
Many Law Firms will review your existing EPOA for no, or only a small charge. So, for peace of mind, compared to the consequences of having a defective EPOA, it is worth your while to have it checked over.
Joshua Zande is a Solicitor at Zande Law Solicitors, Suite 7, Norwinn Centre, 15 Discovery Drive, North Lakes. To contact Josh for advice, phone 3385 0999.
The information in this article is merely a guide and is not a full explanation of the law. This firm cannot take responsibility for any action readers take based on this information. When making decisions that could affect your legal rights, please contact us for professional advice.