When was the last time you reviewed your Enduring Power of Attorney? Is it still valid and relevant to your circumstances? Have you even made an Enduring Power of Attorney? Here are five (of the many) reasons why having a valid and up to date Enduring Power of Attorney are essential:
Reason 1 – You made a pre-1998 Enduring Power of Attorney in Queensland
In Queensland, before 1998, Enduring Attorney could only be appointed to manage a person’s financial matters. After 1998, changes to the law meant that an Enduring Attorney could be appointed to manage financial and personal/health matters.
If you have a pre-1998 Queensland Enduring Power of Attorney, you should consider updating it to ensure your Enduring Attorneys can make decisions about your financial and personal/health matters.
Reason 2 – Your children grew up
Many clients make Enduring Powers of Attorney while their children are under 18 years of age. They never take steps to update their Enduring Power of Attorney when their children are grown up.
In many cases, the client would usually want to have their adult children making decisions for them if they lose capacity (and where their spouse has died or cannot act for them). Sadly, this wish will not come to pass if the Enduring Power of Attorney is not updated to include the adult children.
Reason 3 – You lost your Enduring Power of Attorney
If you have lost your Enduring Power of Attorney, you should seek legal advice without delay with a view to completing a new document to ensure you have the decision maker of your choice in place if you lose capacity.
Reason 4 – You made an Enduring Power of Attorney in another state, territory or overseas
If you have made an interstate or overseas Enduring document, then you should ensure that it is valid in Queensland. While many are, it is not always the case. A lawyer experienced in Enduring Powers of Attorney will be able to help you to navigate this delicate area which traverses many jurisdictions and laws.
Reason 5 – You have been married or divorced
Unless your Enduring Power of Attorney states otherwise, it is revoked if you get married. However, if your husband or wife is already your Enduring Attorney, your Enduring Power of Attorney is only revoked to the extent that it gives power to someone other than your husband or wife.
If you divorce, your Enduring Power of Attorney will be revoked to the extent that it gives power to your former spouse.
In either of these circumstances, it is usually best to consider making a new Enduring Power of Attorney. Seeking appropriate legal advice is essential especially because these life events can significantly affect other documents including your Will.
There are of course many other circumstances that give rise to the need to review and possibly update your Enduring Power of Attorney. So why not get your Enduring Power of Attorney out today and check it still reflects your wishes and circumstances.
For a discussion with us about Enduring Powers of Attorney, call us free on 1800 274 529 (1800 CRH LAW) or email us email@example.com
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