We usually recommend that all couples draw up enduring powers of attorney for the future, whether you are married or common-law partners. It’s a legal document where you state in writing how you want others to manage things for you if you become unable to do it yourself. This could be in case you become seriously ill or are in an accident. With an enduring power of attorney, you can ensure that your bills are paid on time, businesses and property are managed appropriately and that you get the healthcare you want. An enduring power of attorney can give you a sense of control and minimize uncertainty about the future, and you can be sure that your wishes will be respected.
If you don’t have an enduring power of attorney, it can lead to a lengthy and costly legal process. This is because a court will have to step in and appoint a guardian for you. And in that case, you can’t be certain that the guardian will handle your affairs the way you want. So it’s good to have an enduring power of attorney that gives, for example, your partner the right to make important decisions for you.
How do you draw up an enduring power of attorney?
When drawing up an enduring power of attorney, you first have to appoint someone to give power of attorney to. Usually, many people give power of attorney to their partner. But you can also give power of attorney to a close relative or a friend. The important thing is that the person you choose is someone you trust, who understands your wishes and needs and who you know will act in your best interest.
After that you need to define what authority the power of attorney will give and in which contexts. It’s important to be clear so that no one can misunderstand your wishes. Things that are important to address are, for example, issues you want the power of attorney to tend to. What authority the person gets? If you’re giving power of attorney to more than one person. Sometimes you might want to give power of attorney to different people. Then it’s important that you state the conditions for that clearly in the document stating enduring power of attorney.
In order for the enduring power of attorney to be valid, it must be in writing. You sign it together with two witnesses. The witnesses can not be the person you give power of attorney to. When the enduring power of attorney should come into effect is usually decided by the person who receives the power of attorney. That is, assuming that you’re unable to take care of your financial and personal affairs at the moment. In some cases, the court examines the question of when the enduring power of attorney comes into effect. This applies whenever it says so in the enduring power of attorney or if the person who has recieved power of attorney requests it.