It is never nice to think about what could happen if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. However, if you are no longer able to manage your affairs, though illness, accident or old age it is important to have Enduring Powers of Attorney (POAs). You can appoint an attorney to make decisions about your welfare including medical care, living arrangements and financial decisions. Your attorney should be someone you trust who will act in your best interests.

Losing the ability to make decisions for yourself is not the only reason to make POAs. You might be time poor and need a hand with life administration. Many couples appoint their spouse as an attorney so that they can act on their spouse’s behalf in any situation. Or you might be travelling for an extended period of time and need someone to be able to handle your affairs while you are away.

If you lose capacity and don’t have POAs your family will need to go a Tribunal to have someone appointed to make decisions for you. The person appointed may not be the person you would have wished to be appointed or it might be a trustee company or the Public Advocate. Having POAs means one less legal issue for your family or friends to worry about if something were to happen to you.