Let’s talk Enduring Power of Attorney! Many people do the ‘adult thing’ and get life insurance and do their Will for their wishes to be known when they are no longer here to voice them. But there is another scenario that comes up all the time in my work that people often don’t think of. That is Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA).
Why have an Enduring Power of Attorney set up? A lot of people sort Wills and Life Insurance for when they pass, but don’t think what will happen if they are cognitively affected and can’t make decisions or sign documents because they lack capacity. If you are able to set up EPOA while you are both still OK cognitively then you have nominated someone you trust to be your voice in the future when/if needed. There is EPOA Welfare – to make health decisions – and EPOA Property – anything to do with money – especially important if you own a home together and if you have anything you need to sign jointly or each have individual bank accounts that the other can’t access. Many think being husband or wife ie. Next of Kin, gives you legal rights, but I’m afraid it doesn’t.
This is not just something you do if you have a significant health issue, but is an important protection for any of us adults – like I’ve said before, none of us has a crystal ball about what the future may hold. I feel reassured that I have chosen someone I love and trust to be my EPOA. I did this years ago, long before this diagnosis, so if I lack the ability to make my own choices my EPOA can look after things for me. It’s certainly worth thinking about.