Frequently Asked Questions

Find FAQs related to last will and testaments. This is the place to learn more about wills, trusts, estate planning, holographic wills, living wills, inheritance, and other legal matters

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a trusted person – or people – to make financial and/or property decisions on your behalf

An enduring power of attorney(EPOA) is a legal agreement that enables a person to appoint a trusted person – or people – to make financial and/or property decisions on their behalf. An enduring power of attorney is an agreement made by choice that can be executed by anyone over the age of 20, who has full legal capacity.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) for Property is a legal agreement that enables a person to appoint a trusted person – or people – to make financial and/or property decisions on their behalf.

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) for Property is a legal agreement that enables a person to appoint a trusted person – or people – to make financial and/or property decisions on their behalf. An enduring power of attorney is an agreement made by choice that can be executed by anyone over 20 years of age, not bankrupt and not mentally incapable themselves.

It’s a legal document that gives someone you trust the power to look after your money and property if you’re unable to. This person is called your attorney. They can be a:

  • family member
  • trusted friend
  • professional, such as a lawyer or accountant, or
  • trustee company, such as the Public Trust.

NB Your husband, wife or partner does not automatically have the right to access your bank accounts or make decisions about property if it is held in your name. 

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It costs money to set up an EPA because you need to pay for a lawyer or qualified legal executive to witness it.

It costs money to set up an EPA because you need to pay for a lawyer or qualified legal executive to witness it. Working out what you want before meeting with a lawyer can mean the meeting is shorter and therefore cheaper.

You can keep the costs down by making sure you’ve already:

  • talked to the person you want as an attorney and got their agreement
  • agreed on how your money and property will be managed
  • decided whether your attorney must consult with anyone over decisions, and who those people are
  • put together a list of all your assets (house, car, jewellery, investments, furniture, land), including money and any debts
  • decided whether your attorney would look after all your property or only specific things, for example just your bank accounts and investments
  • worked out any special conditions you want your attorney to follow — such as birthday presents for grandchildren or on-going donations to charities
  • decided who would replace your attorney if they died, became bankrupt or mentally incapable
  • decided when you want your EPA to start.

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How to set up an EPA for Property 

You must fill out an EPA for property form and your signature must be witnessed by:

  • a lawyer
  • a qualified legal executive, or
  • an authorised representative of a trustee company.

The witness must also attach a certificate that states they’ve explained:

  • what is an EPA
  • what will happen once it’s in place
  • that you’re not mentally incapable at this time.

The person you’ve chosen to be your attorney also needs to sign the form. Their signature must be witnessed by someone who is not you or your witness.

You can download the EPA form for FREE, from the BeQuest website Legal Forms option on the Services menu. Else your lawyer can provide one.

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Choosing when your EPA for Property starts

 You must choose whether your EPA begins when:

  • you’re still mentally capable, or
  • you’ve become mentally incapable, that is a doctor has decided that you’re no longer able to make decisions for yourself.

If your EPA begins while you’re still mentally capable, it means that your attorney can begin to act when you want or need them to.

If your EPA only starts once you’ve become mentally incapable. Your attorney needs to wait until a doctor or the Family Court has declared that you’re mentally incapable.

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What if you don’t have and EPA for property?

If you are not able to manage your money and property anymore, and you do not have an EPA, your family needs to apply to the Family Court to have someone appointed as a property manager. This can be expensive and time-consuming. And the Court may not appoint the person that you would have chosen. The appointment of a property manager also needs to be renewed every few years.

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Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) for Personal Care & Welfare

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) for Personal Care & Welfare  is a legal document that gives someone you trust the power to look after your health and welfare, if you’re unable to do so, due to an illness, accident or loss of mental capacity. Your appointed attorney must be over 20 years of age, not bankrupt the age of 18, who has full legal capacity.

It‘s important to understand that an EPA for personal care and welfare is not an ‘advance directive’ or ‘living Will’. Directions not to resuscitate – or not to go to great lengths to prolong life – do not belong in an EPA.

You decide whether your attorney can make decisions about everything to do with your care and welfare or only some things.

However, no matter what you decide they cannot:

  • make decisions about you getting married, separated or divorced
  • make decisions about the adoption of your children
  • consent to surgery or treatment of your brain, including electro-convulsive treatment (ECT) for the purposes of changing your behaviour
  • refuse consent to standard medical treatment that could save your life or prevent serious damage to you
  • allow you to take part in any medical experiment, unless it might save your life or prevent serious damage to your health.

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How to set up an EPA for Personal Care & Welfare

You must fill out an EPA for personal care and welfare form and your signature must be witnessed by either:

  • a lawyer
  • a qualified legal executive, or
  • an authorised representative of a trustee company.

The witness must also attach a certificate that states they’ve explained:

  • what is an EPA
  • what will happen once it is in place
  • that you are not mentally incapable at this time.

The person you’ve chosen to be your attorney also needs to sign the form. Their signature must be witnessed by someone who is not you or your witness.

You can download the EPA form for FREE, from the BeQuest website Legal Forms option on the Services menu. Else your lawyer can provide one.

Ask BeQuest about its FREE lawyer consultation

Your attorney can be anyone you trust to understand and respect your wishes and feelings. Usually they are a friend or family member, a colleague, or even a trustee corporation like the Public Trust (for property EPAs only).

Your attorney can be anyone you trust to understand and respect your wishes and feelings. Usually they are a friend or family member, a colleague, or even a trustee corporation like the Public Trust (for property EPAs only).

They must, however, be over 20 years of age, not bankrupt and not mentally incapable themselves.

You may choose the same person for both EPAs. While you may have only one attorney for your personal care and welfare EPA, you may have more than one for your property EPA as you might want people with different skills to look after specific areas. You may also name other people you want your attorneys to consult with on EPA decisions.

Whoever your attorney/s are, it’s important you choose them carefully.