A statement released this week from the Queensland Law Society provided a timely reminder to the community of the importance of making correct decisions about Enduring Powers of Attorney, according to Cooke and Hutchinson Legal Practice Director Mr Daniel Hutchinson.
QLS President Annette Bradfield emphasised on Wednesday that it was important to seek independent legal advice before making an EPA as many people, particularly the elderly, didn’t necessarily always understand the implications involved, most specifically giving another person the power to make personal and financial decisions for them.
“Exploitation of EPA’s is linked to elder abuse”, said Ms Bradfield.
“Complicating the issue can be an unwillingness or inability of the victim to report the abuse and older people with impaired capacity are unlikely to recognise certain behaviour as abuse.”
Mr Hutchinson applauded the QLS while also noting the relating significance of society’s aging population.
“This has become a societal issue of critical importance and I congratulate the Queensland Law Society in their efforts in bringing this to the public’s attention”, said Mr Hutchinson.
“With a population that is aging markedly, we, the legal fraternity have an obligation to ensure that the rights of the elderly are being protected at all times.
“However, organising your affairs before any issues arise is the best way to avoid them down the track.”
Mr Hutchinson said that he concurred with the advice of the QLS, specifically:
“The starting point is to seek advice from your solicitor about EPA’s and to carefully choose who you appoint as your attorney.”
For further enquiries on EPA’s please contact Cooke and Hutchinson on 1800 000 993.