When a young builder was involved in a serious accident on a worksite his life changed dramatically.  The accident rendered him incapable of making decisions about his assets and his own medical matters.

Decisions about his medical care were pressing, and the family home required significant modifications to accommodate his care.

The family’s savings were held in a bank account where he was the sole signatory. When the builder’s partner tried to gain access to the bank account to make payments for works at their property she was surprised and dismayed to be denied access.

It is important to be aware that your spouse, partner, parents or adult children are not automatically entitled to assist you with your property, or make decisions on your behalf about your personal care and welfare, in the event that you lose capacity.

The builder’s partner had to apply to the Court for two separate Orders: one to become her partner’s property manager, and the other to become his welfare guardian to make decisions in relation to his medical care. This process was both time consuming and very expensive, at a time when the family needed urgent access to their funds.

It is very important that you put your Enduring Powers of Attorney documents in place to protect you and your family in the event that life throws you a curveball like an accident.

Your decision as to who you nominate to assist you with property and medical decisions needs to be recorded in two legal documents: Enduring Power of Attorney as to Property, and Enduring Power of Attorney as to Personal Care and Welfare.

Enduring Power of Attorney for Property

This Power gives your Attorney authority to act on your behalf in matters regarding ay assets you own in your own name, including your house, finances, investments and other property assets, in the event that you lose mental capacity – or you may permit your Attorney to assist you while you still have capacity, which is a useful option if you are travelling overseas. 

Enduring Power of Attorney for Personal Care and Welfare

This Power covers any medical and personal matters, such as medical procedures or specialist care.  This document is activated only in the event that you lose capacity, but if it is not in place at the time it is required, your loved ones will have to apply to the Court to appoint a Welfare Guardian.   

If you would like to put EPOAs in place, or need to update your existing EPOAs, your legal advisor will be able to assist you with this process.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Therese Greenlees

Registered Legal Executive