Understanding the Difference Between Enduring Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney

Discover the distinction between Enduring Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney in Australia. Learn how these legal documents empower trusted individuals to make decisions on your behalf.

HTW Legal offers expert guidance on estate planning and powers of attorney tailored to your needs.

In Australia, there are two important legal documents that grant decision-making authority to others: the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) and the Power of Attorney (POA). Although they serve similar purposes, it’s essential to understand the differences between them. In this article, we’ll explain the distinction between EPOA and POA, making it easier for you to grasp their roles and functionalities.

 

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA):

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows someone you trust, known as the attorney, to make decisions for you, even if you can’t due to illness or injury. It continues to be valid even if you become mentally incapacitated in the future. With an EPOA, your attorney can handle financial, property, and legal matters on your behalf.

Power of Attorney (POA):

A Power of Attorney grants someone the authority to make decisions for you, but it only remains effective while you have mental capacity. Unlike the EPOA, it doesn’t continue if you become mentally incapacitated. A POA is useful for temporary situations, such as when you’re away or need assistance with specific matters. It can be customised and revoked as long as you’re mentally capable.

Key Differences:

01

Duration

EPOA remains valid even if you become mentally incapacitated, while POA is only effective while you have mental capacity.

02

Scope

EPOA covers a wider range of decision-making, including financial, property, legal, lifestyle and health matters. POA can be more limited, depending on your specific instructions.

03

Revocation

EPOA can only be revoked while you have mental capacity. POA can be revoked or changed at any time if you're mentally capable.

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA)?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is similar to a Power of Attorney but with one significant difference: it remains valid even if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. This means the person you choose to represent you (your enduring attorney or agent) can continue acting on your behalf and making decisions in your best interests during times of incapacity.

The Key Differences

01

Continuity of Authority

The primary distinction between a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney lies in their longevity. A regular Power of Attorney stops working when you become incapable of making decisions, whereas an Enduring Power of Attorney remains effective, providing ongoing assistance and support when you need it most, including during times of incapacity.

02

Purpose and Timing

A Power of Attorney is typically used for specific tasks or short-term assistance, while an Enduring Power of Attorney is designed to plan for the possibility of incapacity in the future and provide lasting support.

03

Decision-Making Authority

In both cases, you choose a representative to act on your behalf, but the Enduring Power of Attorney ensures continuity of representation, even if you become incapacitated, whereas a regular Power of Attorney is often for more immediate needs. In the context of estate planning, both the Power of Attorney and the Enduring Power of Attorney are indispensable legal options.

In Conclusion

Knowing the difference between Enduring Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney is important in Australia. HTW Legal, centrally located in the Southport central business district, specialises in providing simplified explanations and expert guidance on estate planning and powers of attorney. Contact us for clear advice tailored to your situation, ensuring your legal affairs are properly managed.

Ready to simplify powers of attorney and protect your interests? Contact HTW Legal for expert assistance in understanding and preparing Enduring Power of Attorney or Power of Attorney documents in Australia. Call 07) 5655 4488 to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team are here to provide clear explanations and personalised support.

Disclaimer

The posts in this blog are published as general information only. They are not intended to nor do they constitute legal advice. HTW Legal Group strives at all times to provide users with accurate information but we do not guarantee that the information contained in this blog reflects accurately current law or procedure.

You should not act or refrain from acting in any matter based upon the information contained in this blog without first seeking the advice of a lawyer who practices in the area of law related to your matter. Do not hesitate to contact HTW Legal Group to make an appointment with one of our team of experienced lawyers to obtain advice tailored to your personal situation.