The Importance of an Enduring Power of Attorney


By Greg Major, Director

My 19 year-old son is currently on a nice one-semester exchange in Toronto, Canada, studying at the University of Western Ontario. As a good financial advisor, I took the trouble to ensure that before he left, he prepared an Enduring Power of Attorney, so that whilst he was away, I could act on his behalf in any financial matters that might need attending to.

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

You are perhaps aware that an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) allows the donor to give power to their ‘attorney’, essentially a trusted person or people, to undertake certain functions, usually financial or property related, in the event that they are unavailable to do so. The ‘Enduring’ part means that the attorney can continue to act even if the donor loses their legal capacity.

The Power of Attorney document can come in particularly handy in several cases, one of which is when the donor is travelling and is therefore otherwise unavailable to sign documents. Segue to my story.

EPOA Roadblock to be aware of

Last week, I had the need to help my son with some banking transactions. I wandered off to the bank with the EPOA in hand expecting that it would be sufficient to allow me to undertake the necessary transactions from his account. However, when I arrived, the nice lady at the bank said that I wouldn’t be permitted to use the document because it had not been pre-registered before-hand at the bank when my son was still in the country.

That was a new development to me, although upon checking with some of my colleagues in the office, they had heard of this roadblock before. It is well-known that the EPOA document must be first registered at Landgate before being able to use it for undertaking any transactions with landed property in Western Australia. It now seems that the banks are requiring something similar, which makes the EPOA document less powerful as a spontaneous instrument than it once was (at least in this setting).

The message is, if you have an EPOA and you intend for your attorneys to be able to use it to undertake banking transactions, take the time to have it and them registered and identified at your bank. Otherwise, the document may not be accepted when they and you need it most.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

Greg Major is an authorised representative and credit representative of AMP Financial Planning. Blueprint Planning Pty Ltd (ABN 78 097 264 554), trading as Blueprint Wealth, is an authorised representative and credit representative of AMP Financial Planning, Australian Financial Services Licensee and Australian Credit Licensee (AFSL / ACL 232 706).

This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.

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