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An Enduring Power of Attorney is often referred to as a “living will”, which is a signed legal document giving authorisation to a person or several people to act on your behalf in relation to financial, personal and health matters.

Practical examples of the powers that attorneys have include signing documentation on your behalf, dealing with financial institutions or consenting to medical treatment.

However, you cannot give your attorney the power to do things such as sign your will or vote at an election.

You can appoint one or more attorneys in different ways, including jointly (unanimously), severally (one may decide) or as a majority (eg. two out of three).

You can also appoint alternative attorneys if the original attorney(s) cannot act.

If you have previously appointed an attorney, but do not wish them to act any longer, you may not realise that you must give the attorney notice that you revoke their appointment.

Because of the importance of correct legal wording, we recommend you speak to a solicitor about making an Enduring Power of Attorney so that you can feel assured that your affairs will be looked after if you have the unfortunate event of becoming mentally or physically incapable of making your own decisions.

You may also wish to enquire about making a Will or Advance Health Directive which, after consultation with your doctor, enables your binding wishes about your future health care to be carried out.