What is an enduring power of attorney?

If you do not currently need support, but would like to plan ahead, you can make an enduring power of attorney. This arrangement lets you appoint someone you trust as your attorney. The attorney’s role is to act on your behalf to make certain decisions if you are unable to in the future. An attorney does not need to be a lawyer.

If you are planning ahead, you can make and register an enduring power of attorney. This arrangement gives authority to a person you know and trust, to act on your behalf if you lose the capacity to make certain decisions in the future. This person is called your ‘attorney’ but does not need to be a lawyer. These decisions can be about your personal welfare and property and money matters.

You can give your attorney the general authority to act on your behalf about all or part of your property and affairs and personal welfare. Alternatively, you can give your attorney the authority to do specific things on your behalf.

You can have more than one attorney and you can choose a replacement attorney in case one of your attorneys is unable to continue in the role. If you have more than one attorney you will have to tell us if they have to make decisions together, or separately.

Making an enduring power of attorney is a two-stage process. First, you make the enduring power of attorney, choosing one or more attorneys and the decisions they will make on your behalf. You register it with us at this stage, while you have capacity. Next, your attorney tells us if and when you lose the ability to make one or more of those decisions and asks us to bring it into effect.

This is similar to enduring powers of attorney that were made under the Powers of Attorney Act 1996. They are different because we supervise all new attorneys and make sure they are doing their job correctly.