An Enduring Power of Attorney gives you the power to choose a relative or friend to manage your lifestyle and financial affairs should you become incapacitated or if you develop a decision making disability. You can appoint more than one attorney if you wish.If you take this step while you are competent to do so, it will mean that you decide:
An Enduring Power of Attorney is not revoked by your impaired decision-making capacity – it endures throughout your incapacity. It must be executed while you have capacity and you can revoke the appointment and make another appointment at any time provide you continue to have capacity.You should be aware that in the ACT, your spouse or next of kin has no legal entitlement to make formal substitute decisions on your behalf in circumstances where you cannot make your own decisions (unless there is an Enduring Power of Attorney in place). Once your decision making ability is lost, the only course is for the appointment of a guardian and/or manager by the ACT Civil & Administrative Tribunal. The process for the appointment of a family member or friend takes 6 to 8 weeks.
If there is an emergency, only the Public Advocate can be appointed as emergency guardian if you have not appointed an Enduring Power of Attorney or if there is no guardianship order in place. This only happens when there is the need for an urgent substitute decision on your behalf.
If substitute medical consent is required for a person with impaired decision-making ability, a health attorney can be appointed by the senior treating doctor or dentist at the time the substitute medical consent is required.
The forms are user-friendly and do not require legal expertise to complete.You can obtain the "Power to Choose" booklet here. This is a document explaining how to complete an EPA, and contains a copy of the form used.You can obtain the stand alone EPA form by clicking here.You can obtain the form to make a Health Direction under the Medical Treatment (Health Directions) Act 2006 here.
You can contact us for hard copies of the Power to Choose booklet, or to discuss Enduring Power of Attorney in greater detail.
Phone: (02) 6207 0707
Fax: (02) 6207 0688
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