You may have good control over matters concerning your health, finance and other personal issues now, but this may not always be so. You may suffer an illness or be deployed or travel overseas; therefore, inhibiting your decision-making power. In these times, you can get a power of attorney (POA). This legally binding document will transfer your ability to make certain choices for a specified period to someone else.
You can modify or revoke a POA in the future, provided you are of sound mind. It is, however, vital to get lawyers in Townsville to help you make the right choices each time you draft this document. One of the elements you will choose is the type of POA you want. For most people, enduring and lasting POAs sound like the same thing since these terms are synonymous. But there are stark differences between these two types of POAs.
Here are the legal elements that distinguish the two:
There only exists one type of enduring power of attorney (EPA). In it, you will appoint someone to handle your affairs and property. There are two types of lasting powers of attorney (LPA). A health and welfare LPA allows someone to handle decisions concerning your finances and health. This, at times, replaces a living will. A property and financial affairs LPA, however, only allows the holder of your POA to make decisions on your finances and property.
2. Effect of Attorneys Who are Unable to Act
In most cases, people choose to appoint multiple attorneys. In an EPA, if one of them cannot handle the duties assigned for one reason or another, then the entire EPA immediately ceases, and you are not allowed to appoint a replacement. You can, however, select a replacement attorney in an LPA if one attorney cannot act and the LPA continues to be valid.
3. When the Instrument Takes Into Effect
An EPA becomes operational once you and your attorneys and witnesses have completed and signed it. This is unless it contains a stipulation on its time of operation, such as a future specified date or when you lose your mental capacity to make sound decisions. Before its enforcement, an LPA, on the other hand, is registered with your state’s public guardian. The registration can be done at any time.
4. Canceling the Power of Attorney
If you want to cancel an unregistered EPA, you can do so without court involvement. If the EPA is registered, you should apply to the court to cancel it and satisfy them that you understand the implications of your action. Registered and unregistered EPAs are revoked if you or your attorneys are declared bankrupt.
An LPA is automatically cancelled following a divorce if your spouse is the attorney unless this is otherwise stated in the document. The financial affairs and property LPA is automatically cancelled in bankruptcy but not the health and welfare one.
You probably understand now that EPAs and LPAs are not different. Most people assume that appointing a POA is foolproof, but many things usually go wrong without legal advice. That said, do not make the mistake of going alone when drafting this crucial document.