What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document. It allows you to appoint a person to make decisions about your assets. The POA deals with your assets e.g. real estate and bank accounts.

What can’t the POA do?

The POA is an “economic” document.  Your POA does not deal with your health, medical treatment or lifestyle. To do this, instead build a Medical POA on our website. Also, the person receiving your EPA cannot:

* vote in any elections
* make a Will
* sign another POA
* act as a Trustee
* control your body (you need to build a Medical POA on our website for that)

However, the person receiving your Enduring Power of Attorney, can open and close bank accounts, pay debts, and buy and sell land. This is provided it is in your ‘best interests’ to do so.

You are protected by our law firm

1. you and your POA are protected by our law firm’s professional indemnity insurance
2. read the hints, watch the training videos and speak with us as you build the document
3. you get an unlimited number of updates for the rest of your life for the Power of Attorney
4. for the rest of your life you are able to telephone the law firm anytime for help on how to use the POA
5. your attorneys can telephone us for help on how to use the POA
6. your POA is on a monitoring service if the POA or legislation change we notify you immediately
7. there is a full money back guarantee for every document you build on our website
8. the POA comes with a letter setting out how to sign and use the POA

Free and ongoing advice for your attorneys on how to use the POA

Included in the cost of your Power of Attorney is free advice for your attorneys. Your attorneys are not alone. Firstly, there is information about how to use the POA in our covering letter. The letter comes with the POA. Secondly, our law firm, at any time, helps them and shows them how to use the POA. We are only ever a telephone call away.

Many homemade POAs are incorrect and incorrectly signed. Sadly, it is only after you need to use them does this become apparent. Our POAs carry the law firm professional indemnity insurance and we explain how they need to be signed and used on our law firm’s letterhead.

We give you and your family ongoing support on the POA. Often when a parent loses mental capacity the children telephone us for help and assurance. We, at no further cost, explain how to use the POA and what they need to do.

This is one such example. Recently, a bank manager in Sydney kept the original POA for our client’s son (our client has dementia). The banker refused to hand back the original. Our client’s son presented our covering letter to the banker, which states that the original is to be handed back to our client’s son. The bank manager still refused to do so. A Legal Consolidated lawyer rang the bank’s legal team in Melbourne and was able to get the POA back for our client’s son. That was done at no charge because the POA was prepared by our law firms.

Further, there are unlimited updates on the POAs so they can be updated as often as you wish.

How does the person receiving my POA actually use the Power of Attorney?Power of Attorney

Here are some examples:

Example 1 – Using your bank account

The persons you appoint walk into the bank and present to the bank clerk with your Savings Account book and an original POA. Your bank clerk stares blankly at them. He sees his bank manager. The bank manager explains to the bank clerk that those persons “now stand in your shoes”. They can do whatever you could do with the bank account. The bank manager asks to take a copy of the POA for future reference. The bank manager tries to keep the original POA but the persons you nominate decline and get back the original POA. The transaction on the bank account takes place.

Example 2 – Signing a document on your behalf

You tell the persons that you nominated, to sign a lease agreement. You are on holidays overseas and email is unavailable. Your attorney contacts the landlord. They:

1. tell the landlord that there is a POA
2. tell the landlord that they are signing the lease on your behalf
3. they sign in their usual signature area and write under the signatures “signed as attorney for *your name* under a POA dated ## Month, year”.

You are now bound to the lease. The landlord may photocopy the POA to attach to the lease.

Free updates of your POA – for the rest of your life

Not only is there a money back guarantee on all our law firm’s documents that you build online, also you can update your POA for free. If you ever want to update your POA just email us and we send you a voucher. With the voucher, you can change the POA as you want. You can update your POA as often as you wish for free.

Advantages of our law firm preparing your Power of Attorney

Because our law firm prepared the Power of Attorney it is protected by our law firm’s Professional Indemnity insurance. You get:
1. legal advice throughout your life on how to use your Power of Attorney
2. your attorneys can telephone us for help on how to use the POA if you become of unsound mind
3. advice and hints on the POA as you build the legal document on our law firm’s website
4. our covering letter gives legal advice and best practice on how to sign the POA

When do the Attorneys need to accept?

There is no legal requirement for an attorney to accept your POA within any time frame. An attorney can accept your POA many years later. And if you have appointed more than one attorney they can accept many years apart from each other. They don’t need to accept your POA on the same day. Indeed your attorneys may be living outside of Australia in different countries. However, your POA won’t come into operation for that attorney until that attorney does sign. But the signing can be done when the POA is actually needed.

Does my attorney need to hold one of the original POAs?

After you build your POA, you print off two copies. You sign both copies. Both copies are originals. There is no legal requirement to hand over one of your original POAs to any of your attorneys. You may, however, wish to do so. At the very least:
1. speak to your potential attorneys to make sure they are happy to take on the onerous job of holding the attorney position
2. let them know where the POA is kept “at my home in my grey filing cabinet and when it is needed you can get the POA and accept it then”
3. you may wish to email them a soft copy and the covering letter that we provide so they can understand how it can be used in the future (it can be signed or unsigned, it is just a soft copy). If they need a hand, later on, they can telephone us for advice.

Do I need an Enduring POA in every State I have property in?

Because Australia is a federation of States each State has its own Enduring POA. For example, a Victorian Medical POA only works while you are in the State of Victoria. The enduring power of attorney document in New South Wales and Western Australia is less than five pages. The Queensland POA is up to 20 pages.

If you live in two States then you need to build the first Enduring POA. And then build the second as a second document. (You can carry over the answers from the first document into the second document, to save you having to answer the questions again.) You should have a POA in each State that you have land in.






For legal advice telephone us. We are a law firm. We can help you answer the questions as you build your POA.

Adjunct Professor, Dr Brett Davies, CTA, AIAMA, BJuris, LLB, LLM, MBA, SJDEPA
Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors
Australia wide law firm
Mobile: 0477 796 959
National: 1800 141 612
Email: brett@legalconsolidated.com