Department of the Attorney General
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Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney 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 18, who has full legal capacity.

'Full legal capacity' means that the person must be able to understand the nature and effect of the document they are completing and the nature and extent of their estate.

An enduring power of attorney cannot be made by another person on behalf of a donor whose capacity might be in doubt due to mental illness, acquired brain injury, cognitive impairment or dementia.

An enduring power of attorney can be operational while the person still has capacity but may be physically unable to attend to financial matters.

The benefit of an enduring power of attorney is that unlike an ordinary power of attorney, it will continue to operate even if the donor loses full legal capacity.

An enduring power of attorney does not permit an attorney to make personal and lifestyle decisions, including decisions about treatment. The authority of the attorney is limited to decisions about the donor's property and financial affairs.

To cancel (revoke) the enduring power of attorney the donor must have full legal capacity. It is recommended that the revocation is made in writing. If the donor has lost capacity, an application must be made to the State Administrative Tribunal to decide if the enduring power of attorney should be cancelled (revoked).

Last Updated: 17-Apr-2014

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