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Our Wills Team

Elliot Ryan
Senior Associate
Junior Lawyer
Junior Lawyer

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal agreement that allows you to nominate a person of your choice to make financial and/or property decisions on your behalf, during your lifetime. This person is referred to as your attorney. An EPA does not allow an attorney to make personal or lifestyle decisions.

You can make an EPA if you are over the age of 18 years and have full legal capacity, which means that you understand the nature and effect of the EPA.

An EPA must be signed in the presence of at least one authorised witness and a second independent witness over the age of 18 years.

When does an EPA come into effect?

An EPA can be effective:

  • immediately; or
  • only upon a declaration of the State Administrative Tribunal that you have lost capacity.

Who can I appoint as my attorney?

You can appoint:

  • A sole attorney;
  • Joint attorneys, two attorneys who must make decisions together; or
  • Joint and several attorneys, two attorneys who can make decisions together and/or independently.

You may only appoint a maximum of two attorneys to act.

You may also appoint up to two substitute attorneys in the event that your appointed attorneys are unable to act.

Do I need an Enduring Power of Attorney?

If you have not made an EPA and you lose capacity and are unable to manage your financial affairs, a person will need to make an application to the State Administrative Tribunal in to obtain order to manage you financial affairs. This person becomes the Administrator of your affairs.

In this event, you do not have control over who the State Administrative Tribunal appoints as your Administrator and it may lead to a distrusted family member or third party such as the Public Trustee being put in charge of your financial affairs.

Even if the person appointed by the State Administrative Tribunal is the same person you would have appointed under your EPA, the process is time consuming and potentially costly for the person having to make the application.

Do I have to register my EPA?

There is no requirement to lodge your EPA. However, if you wish for your attorney to act on your behalf in property transactions, you will need to register your EPA with Landgate.

Can I revoke an EPA?

You can revoke your EPA at any time, provided you still have legal capacity to do so. The State Administrative Tribunal also has the authority to make orders to revoke an EPA.

Contact us to discuss whether an Enduring Power of Attorney is right for you.