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The enduring powers of attorney is a legal document which lets you appoint a person, not necessarily a legal practitioner, to take financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The decisions can be taken even when the person who appoints the attorney is fit mentally and physically.
In UK, Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced enduring powers of attorney. It is quite common for people in the kingdom to take benefit of both powers.
In the Australian context, there is not much difference apart from a few. In Australia there are primarily three enduring powers and one general power. One of those three is the enduring powers of attorney.
I am well and fit, why do I need Enduring powers of attorney?
Well, no one has seen the future, unfortunate accidents often render people incapable of making even the simplest decisions of life and that is when an enduring powers of attorney helps. A person many lose his mental capacity to decide due to age or injury and there are guidelines to make sure that the person has indeed lost his mental prowess to decide.
Having an attorney taking care of your affairs has other benefits as well. You can travel abroad and take care of your business needs without worrying about affairs back home. Often family members are not qualified for legal or financial trenches, so when you leave the country or busy yourself with other affairs, some aspects may remain neglected for prolonged periods. An enduring powers of attorney takes care of these in your absence and keeps you in the loop so you actually call the shots, but have a manager of sorts to take care of things.
I want enduring powers of attorney, but not now
That can be arranged; anyone above the age of 18 can appoint an attorney and declare his intentions of keeping the attorney dormant until a certain point in time or a change in your health, physical or mental.
What if I or my attorney dies?
Well, if your attorney dies he can be replaced by an alternate attorney, but if you die, the enduring powers of attorney become invalid. You can have more than one attorney so if one loses his abilities to dispense of his duties, the other can jump right in.
Your legal document will become invalid if you have a fallout with your attorney or if the attorney disagrees or disclaims to act.
I want enduring powers of attorney for a short period
The words ‘enduring’ or ‘lasting’ means that these are long term solutions. For those who want a stop gap for a few weeks or a month, he or she can take advantage of the general powers of attorney, but this is limited to as long as you have the mental capacity to make decisions, unlike enduring powers of attorney which holds water even after you have lost your bearings.
What does the attorney do?
The attorney’s duties are briefly the following:
1. Keep your affairs confidential
2. Act in your interest and not his personal interest
3. Do whatever is required of them mentioned in the legal document
4. Transfer the powers to someone else only if authorized
What are the costs of enduring powers of attorney?
Most legal firms will make one along with your will and club the price so you don’t feel the pinch. There is not much difference in the costs, but to find the best deal you will have to talk with a few. Also remember that costs should not be primary measuring yard, there are other things too, so take your time to research y our options.