Difference between Enduring Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney

Should you become incapacitated, having a provision for your financial and medical matters to be delay with makes sense. YOURLifeChoices subscriber, Eileen, would like to know the different Powers of Attorney available and what they mean.

Q. Eileen
I was wondering if someone could tell me the difference between enduring power of attorney and power of attorney. If someone has only the power of attorney for their parents, such as handling their money, banking and taking them to doctors visits, does that mean that they can also put the parents into a nursing home even if the rest of the family do not agree? Can the family take part in the parents caring and welfare? Can they also share having their parents come and stay with them for a time? If someone can give me this information as to what power a person has if they have power of attorney I would be forever grateful.

A. As a rule, Power of Attorney gives someone control of a person legal and financial dealings from a specified date and, as such, would not entitle them to place that person in a nursing home or make decisions as to medical treatment.

If a person is given Enduring Power of Attorney for legal and financial matters, this can take effect immediately, from a specified date or form when the donor (person giving the power) becomes incapacitated. As above, it does not give a person the right to dictate medical treatment nor move the donor into a nursing home.

However, an Enduring Power of Attorney for medical matters will allow a person to dictate medical treatment and arrange for the donor to be moved into a nursing home.

As you can see, this is a complex matter and the advice given does not constitute legal advice. For more information on the different types of Power of Attorney, visit The Chronic Illness Alliance

You should also consider consulting an attorney for advice specific to your circumstances. If you can’t afford this service, your local Community Legal Centre may be able to assist.

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