Enduring power of attorney
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, for example, they are going overseas, or are incapacitated in hospital.
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.
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
- may be abusing the donor,
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.
Our Civil Law Division may be able to give you general advice about an enduring power of attorney.
Legal Aid WA, through the Civil Law Division’s Elder Rights WA service can provide information and advice on enduring powers of attorney for clients over 65 and First Nations and CALD clients over 55, but does not draft enduring powers of attorney.
The Public Trustee - Department of Justice has information on enduring powers of attorney.
The Office of the Public Advocate (1300 858 455 or (08) 9278 7300) has a telephone advisory service from 9.00am -5.00pm Monday to Friday (recorded information is available at other times) and a guide, information kit, information sheets and easy reads fact sheets.
Landgate also has information about enduring powers of attorney.
Reviewed: 11 October 2022