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What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document given by you (the Donor) to another person (the Attorney) which enables the Attorney to act on your behalf. Unlike earlier forms of Powers of Attorneys, an Enduring Power of Attorney is not revoked (cancelled) if your Donor subsequently becomes mentally incompetent.

The power may be to act:

bulletGenerally on your behalf bulletIn limited circumstances only

You can only give an Enduring Power of Attorney if you are mentally competent and eighteen years or over.
Your Attorney can be anyone who is willing to act in that capacity, is eighteen years or over and is not bankrupt.
You can revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney at any time.

FAQs about Enduring
Power of Attorney

What is the purpose of an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney ensures essential matters are attended to by a trusted person on your behalf. This could be when:

  • You need to travel out of Queensland for a long period, or travel within Queensland but out of contact.
  • You are no longer mentally or physically capable of handling personal or business interests due to an accident or unexpected mental illness. If this occurs and you did not have an Enduring Power of Attorney, your personal and business affairs will be handled by a government official, usually the Public Trustee.
Can an Enduring Power of Attorney be limited?

An Enduring Power of Attorney can be:

  • Limited – allowing only specific actions(s) to be undertaken by your Attorney.
  • General – allowing your Attorney very wide powers i.e. “to do on my behalf anything which I can lawfully do”.
Can I still handle my affairs with an Enduring Power of Attorney?

As long as you are mentally capable, you may continue to handle all your personal business. Granting the Enduring Power to Attorney does not stop you from dealing with matters yourself, but your Attorney will still be able to deal with your affairs at the same time (unless you only grant a limited Enduring Power of Attorney).

Can I have more than one Attorney?

There is no legal limit to the number of Attorneys, although it is not advisable to give powers to too many people – they may not co-ordinate with each other. You may wish to appoint different Attorneys to do different jobs.

When does the Enduring Power of Attorney cease to be of effect?
  • When your Attorney notifies you that he or she can no longer act under the power, i.e. a revocation.
  • When either you or your Attorney dies or becomes bankrupt.
  • When you sign a later Enduring Power of Attorney.
Should I have an Attorney?

If you are planning to be away from home for an extended period, or if you are approaching an age at which you may find it difficult handling your own affairs, it is wise to consider giving an Enduring Power of Attorney to a trusted person.

Spouses should consider exchanging Enduring Powers of Attorney with each other to prevent difficulties if one partner becomes seriously ill or incapacitated by an accident.

Knowing you have an Attorney capable of dealing with your affairs when you are absent or infirmed can give you peace of mind.

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