What if I need someone to make financial and property decisions for me?
You could consider making:
- a power of attorney, or
- an enduring power of attorney.
For more information on powers of attorney go to Power of attorney.
Be careful who you appoint as there is the potential for the power to be abused. You should get independent legal advice so that you understand the risks you are taking in giving an enduring power of attorney and what you need in your situation.
What is an enduring power of attorney?
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person (the donor) to appoint a trusted person (the donee or attorney) to make financial and property decisions for them. More than one attorney can be appointed.
It can be made when the donor has capacity but might physically be unable to manage their affairs, eg they are going overseas, or are incapacitated in hospital.
What if I am not sure what decisions can be given to an enduring power of attorney?
Get legal advice.
How is an enduring power of attorney different to a power of attorney?
Unlike a power of attorney, an enduring power of attorney remains valid after the donor loses legal capacity.
What does legal capacity mean in this context?
If you have full legal capacity you are able to understand the nature and effect of any legal documents you are completing or have completed and the nature and extent of your property.
Sometimes people lose capacity due to dementia, stroke, being in a coma, Alzheimer's, mental illness, accident, trauma, acquired brain injury, or for other reasons.
Can someone with an enduring power of attorney make medical treatment decisions?
No. However an enduring guardian can in some situations.
What is an enduring power of guardianship?
For information on this go to Future medical and other health decisions.
Where can I get the form for an enduring power of attorney?
You can download an Enduring Power of Attorney Information Kit from the Office of the Public Advocate's website. It contains a blank enduring power of attorney form.
What if I think the attorney/donee is not acting in the best interests of the donor?
If you think an attorney or donee is not acting in the best interests of a donor, or that they may be abusing the donor you can contact the Office of the Public Advocate's telephone advisory service on 1300 858 455 (freecall).
If the Office Public Advocate decides follow up is needed the Public Advocate will conduct an investigation and/or refer the matter to the Western Australian police.
Who is the Public Advocate?
The Public Advocate is an independent statutory officer appointed under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990 (WA) to promote and protect the rights of adults with decision-making disabilities. The Office of the Public Advocate can provide information and advice.
What if someone can no longer make decisions for themselves?
For information go to Guardianship and administration.
Where can I get more information?
- Contact the Office of the Public Advocate on 1300 858 455. It has a telephone advisory service from 9.00am -5.00pm Monday to Friday. Recorded information is available at other times.
- Contact the Public Trustee on 1300 746 116 (new inquiries) for help with preparing enduring powers of attorney (fees are payable).
- Contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on (08) 9221 5711 for help with drafting enduring powers of attorney (a small fee applies) and to access a fact sheet on Enduring Power of Attorney.
- Contact the State Administrative Tribunal on (08) 9219 3111 or 1300 306 017 (cost of a local call) for information on applications for intervention into enduring powers of attorney.
Last reviewed: 13/11/2015