None of us like to think about the possibility of being unable to make decisions for ourselves. However, as we grow older, or due to an unforeseen event, it is possible that we might need someone to step up and make decisions about our personal care and welfare or property.
Who do you want that decision maker to be? Is it a spouse, other family member, or close friend? Whoever it is, we recommend that you put in place Enduring Powers of Attorney to formally appoint the person (or persons) you trust to make decisions for you. You can specify how you want the person/s to act for you, including whether you want them to consult with anyone about decisions, and anything else you want them to be aware of while they’re acting for you.
Without Enduring Powers of Attorney, if, in future, there comes a time when you cannot make a decision for yourself, a willing family member, or other close connection, will need to apply to the Family Court to be appointed as your Welfare Guardian or Property Manager to be able to make decisions for you. Your spouse, or next of kin, does not have the automatic legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. You have no control over who applies to the Court to act for you; and that person might not be the person who springs to mind when you ask yourself – who do I want to act for me?
The Court process is much more expensive, and time consuming, than completing Enduring Powers of Attorney now. The powers afforded to Property Managers in particular are far more limited than those available when acting under an Enduring Power of Attorney, and they must prepare and file annual financial reporting statements. Welfare Guardians and Property Managers must also apply to the Court every 3 years for their appointments to be renewed.
We also have experience with applications for appointment as a Welfare Guardian or Property Manager under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 and can assist with this if you are acting for someone who does not have, or has not had, the ability to enter into Enduring Powers of Attorney.
Give yourself some peace of mind, and save future cost and stress for your family, by putting Enduring Powers of Attorney in place now, for more information contact Rachel van Eekelen, Associate (DDI 03 343 8583 / email@example.com).