It is time to have your say about achieving greater consistency in laws for financial enduring powers of attorney.
The Federal Government has released a Consultation Paper focused on addressing financial elder abuse and achieving greater consistency in laws for financial enduring powers of attorney (EPOAs).
This consultation shows how the operation of powers of attorney has now become a field of regulation of national significance.
Submissions in response to this consultation can be made until 29 November 2023. Information about the consultation can be found at https://consultations.ag.gov.au/families-and-marriage/epoa/.
There is consistent national concern about the misuse of powers of attorney in the administration of the affairs of people as they age. This is not just about dealing with the rights of older people but all citizens of Australia who require assistance in the management of their affairs.
Financial elder abuse is the improper use, or deliberate exploitation, of an older person’s money, property or other resources. It can consist of a single event, or several actions that take place over a period of time, and can occur alongside other forms of abuse and neglect.
The consultation distinguishes Enduring Powers of Attorney from a General Power of Attorney and forms of alternate or supplemental medical and personal decision making. The consultation is needed because the inconsistency of laws governing powers of attorney across Australia complicates the goal of having consistent laws nationally that deal with managing the financial affairs of a person. The consultation proposes the following areas of reform:
- General principles and decision-making capacity
- Executing an EPOA
- Witnessing an EPOA
- When an attorney accepts an appointment
- Revoking an EPOA
- Automatically revoking an EPOA
- Who can be an attorney
- Attorney duties
- Recognising EPOAs in different states
- Access to justice issues
We are making a submission to the consultation and encourage all our clients, supporters and colleagues to do the same.
Please let us know if the consultation raises any concerns about the affairs of you or any person for whose welfare your are concerned.
We are also happy to consult and help anyone making a submission to this consultation.
Michael Perkins is attending and speaking at the National Congress of the Financial Advisers Association from 20 November until 22 November 2023. His session in conjunction with Bernie Walrut is focused on particular issues about interdisciplinary collaboration between professionals, powers of attorney and the role of financial planners helping clients make sure their powers of attorney are fit for purpose. Please contact us if you want to book a time with Michael while he is in Adelaide next month.