Enduring Power of Attorney: Pertinent Facts You Should Know About It

The legal Instrument called ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’ is useful for a variety of reasons and purposes. A person signs it, commonly referred to as the Donor, giving the lawyer or Donee the power to act on that person’s behalf, subject to the terms of the Instrument. The purpose of the Enduring Power of Attorney is to provide powers of representation when the Donor, unfortunately, becomes mentally incapacitated.

Keep in mind that Enduring Powers of Attorney are intended for the care of a person and the management of their assets during their lifetime, and the ultimate requirement for it to become a valid document is for the person to suffer from mental incapacity, preventing him or her from managing their affairs.

So, when does the legal Instrument become effective?

For starters, the Enduring Power of Attorney contains a statement by the Donor, declaring that the Donor intends the power to be active during any subsequent mental incapacity of the Donor.  Hence, provided that the Donor retains mental capacity, the Enduring Power of Attorney does not have any effect or legality for that matter.

The most obvious difference between an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Power of Attorney is that the latter ceases to effect once the Donor becomes mentally incapacitated.

An Enduring Power of Attorney may give the appointed lawyer the general power to act.  In other words, the lawyer will have the ability to decide on matters regarding the property, business, as well as personal care of the Donor. On the other hand, the general Power of Attorney usually has several restrictions.

Personal care usually refers to the decisions that include treatment and rehabilitation, dress and diet concerns, social welfare, and others.

Any personal care decisions made by the Attorney must be in the Donor’s best interests, which means that there is room left for legal contentions in court.

For people who have the foresight to put an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, the undeniable advantage is that they have chosen their substitute decision-maker the moment they need one. It means that by choosing a lawyer, the Donor has effectively influenced how and by whom decisions for them are made in case they become mentally incapacitated.

You have the right to appoint a couple of lawyers who may either act severally or jointly. The fact that the lawyers you select will make decisions for you based on the terms handed out in the Enduring Power of Attorney means that you must identify individuals whom you trust. In other words, choose the lawyer who you think will act based on your interests and upholding of your rights.

Be reminded that you may appoint your son, daughter, spouse, friend, or anyone you think you can trust the most. Likewise, it is your right to name people in the Enduring Power of Attorney whom you would like to be consulted when it comes to making decisions about your life.