Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPOA”) is a legal document which grants a person (the “Attorney”) the power to make important decisions for another person (the “Principal”) in the event the Principal loses the mental capacity to make their own decisions.
The EPOA must be signed by both the Attorney and Principal while the Principal still has capacity otherwise the document will be void. The EPOA only activates, that is to say it only confers power on the Attorney, once the Principal loses capacity. The EPOA must specify what matters the Attorney can make decisions about. The most common examples are health, personal and financial decisions however the documents are usually drafted broadly enough to cover almost any type of decision the Attorney may need to make for the Principal.
Binding Death Benefit Nomination
Most people are surprised when we tell them that their superannuation does not automatically form part of their estate when they die.
The superannuation funds each have their own rules but typically the decision of who to pay your funds to when you die falls into the hands of your super fund. The fund can choose to pay your children in disproportionate amounts, at different times or not at all, in any manner which the super fund chooses.
A Binding Death Benefit Nomination (“BDBN”) is an instruction given to a superannuation fund to pay all monies held by them on your behalf to your nominated beneficiaries. You are free to nominate your own beneficiaries rather than rely on the superannuation fund’s definition. You can also nominate your estate as a beneficiary itself so that your money goes into your estate to dispense with under your Will. The super fund is required to follow the instructions in the BDBN upon your passing. There is a catch though: your BDBN lapses every three years and must be renewed.