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In the event of a loss of mental capacity leading to an inability to manage one's financial affairs, such as dementia, you can make early arrangements to appoint a person or party to be responsible. This is known as the Enduring Power of Attorney.

 

Unlike a power of attorney, which will cease to have effect if you become mentally incapable, an EPA will continue to be in effect. There is a prescribed form for an EPA, which includes the following contents.

  • Your attorney

    An attorney can be an individual or a trust corporation. An individual attorney must be over 18 years old and must not be bankrupt or mentally incapable. You can appoint more than one attorney. In this way, your attorneys could help and monitor each other.

  • Your attorney's authority over your money matters

    Spell out your attorney's authority over your money matters and property. For example, collecting any income and capital due to you or handling the money in the particular bank account. You cannot give to your attorney a general authority over all your property, otherwise, it will affect the validity of the EPA.

  • Restrictions on the attorney

    You may include certain restrictions on the attorney’s authority, e.g. your attorney must not act on your behalf when you are still mentally capable or enter into any contract that its value is over a specified amount.

  • Commencement of the EPA

    The EPA can take effect on the date it is signed before the solicitor, or you can specify a later date or later event on which it will take effect.

 

An EPA is a legal agreement that allows you to appoint a trusted party to safeguard your financial affairs. It can protect you from financial abuse, as you have chosen that person yourself, and it can also save your family the cost and stress of having to get a court order to allow them to make decisions about you and your financials on your behalf.