Enduring Powers of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) can be an effective way to ensure that your affairs are properly taken care of if you become incapacitated. An EPA may be made by anyone over the age of 18 with legal capacity. An enduring power of attorney continues to operate when the person who made it loses legal capacity.

An enduring power of attorney does not permit an attorney to make personal and lifestyle decisions, including decisions about treatment. The authority of the attorney is limited to decisions about the donor’s property and financial affairs. An enduring power of attorney is legally binding. To be made null and void it must be revoked by the donor or the State Administrative Tribunal.

Under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 (WA), a person may appoint an attorney whose power is activated by a declaration by the State Administrative Tribunal that the person is mentally incapacitated or whose power comes into effect immediately and continues notwithstanding any subsequent legal incapacity. 

To create a valid EPA, the deed must be in a prescribed form and be signed by the donor and two witnesses. A statement of acceptance by the person appointed under the EPA as the attorney must be attached to the EPA. A family lawyer in Perth can assistance you with preparation and execution of an EPA.

Two or more people may be jointly and or severally appointed as attorneys. The attorneys do not necessarily have unlimited power. You may impose conditions or restrictions on the authority of the attorney(s) in an EPA. Also, where a person acts under an EPA, they are obliged to exercise their powers with reasonable diligence to protect the interests of the incapacitated person. They must also keep accurate records and accounts. A person appointed as an attorney may also seek directions from the State Administrative Tribunal as to how to exercise their powers. 

An EPA may be revoked provided that the person who made it has legal capacity. It may be revoked in writing to the appointed person or people informing them that you wish to revoke the EPA.

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