Recently I had a call from a client which reinforced the importance of having in place an EPOA for elderly family members.

The client had a 91 year old mother who has been diagnosed with dementia. The mother did not want to move from her home to alternative accommodation and not only does not trust solicitors, but did not want her family to know or have much to do with her ongoing financial affairs.

The client told me she had found an Enduring Power of Attorney the mother had done many years ago, but it only covered financial matters, not health.

What can she do?

I advised her to contact the Office of the Adult Guardian and told her that unless she is able to convince Mum to execute a new EPOA (which may need support from a Doctor), she might end up in an application in QCAT to have Guardian or Administrator (or both) appointed.

If the mother had included 'health matters' in the Power when it was executed, the problem would not be there and the family is still in control. That would avoid the additional drama and expense.

She may also have exercised her rights as statutory guardian, but an appropriate Power of Attorney would have resolved her problems.