By Tracy Collins & Morgan Collens

If you’ve determined that establishing an enduring power is the right choice for you, the most critical decision lies in selecting the individual to entrust with this responsibility. It’s imperative that you have full confidence in the person you appoint, as they will wield considerable authority and access over your finances and assets, depending on the scope of decisions you authorize them to make. The role of an appointed decision-maker carries substantial power and comes with significant responsibilities. Your chosen decision-maker for financial matters must:

  1. Act in your best interests and strive to protect and promote them.
  2. Refrain from gaining personal profit from their appointment.
  3. Avoid any conflicts of interest between their own interests and yours.
  4. Conduct themselves with honesty, care, and diligence.
  5. Keep your finances and assets separate from their own, except for jointly owned property.


It’s helpful to begin by identifying the qualities that matter most to you. Examples of important qualities for enduring powers regarding financial decisions include:

  • Willingness to prioritize and act upon your wishes and preferences, rather than their own.
  • Adequate skill and time commitment to fulfill the role effectively.
  • Competence in managing finances and property.
  • Ability to remain composed in challenging situations.
  • Confidence to advocate on your behalf, including dealing with legal and governmental entities.
  • Effective communication skills and conflict resolution abilities.
  • Proximity to you for in-person assistance or readiness to manage responsibilities from a distance.
  • Understanding and respect for your cultural background and community ties.
  • Willingness to embrace the role’s full responsibilities.


Once you’ve determined the essential qualities, try to assess the individuals close to you objectively. Fulfilling all the obligations of an appointed decision-maker won’t always be straightforward, so consider who is best equipped to handle this responsibility. Remember, trust in the person or people you appoint is paramount.


When selecting a decision-maker, opt for someone who truly knows you, your values, and your desires. This could be a spouse, life partner, adult child, another family member, or a trusted friend.


Here are some actions to take:

  • Consider all potential candidates, including trusted friends, siblings, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. You’re not obligated to choose adult children or a partner.
  • Assess who would make sound decisions during challenging times.
  • Exercise caution when appointing individuals facing their own difficulties, such as financial problems or addiction.
  • Avoid appointing someone solely for family harmony if it compromises the best interests of your long-term well-being. Addressing issues openly may lead to better outcomes.


Here are some things to avoid:

  • Don’t appoint someone solely based on familial ties or seniority within the family.
  • Don’t succumb to pressure when selecting a decision-maker. The choice is entirely yours.
  • Seek assistance from relevant organizations if you feel pressured to make a decision.


If you’re unable to identify a suitable candidate you trust, consider appointing an independent decision-maker, such as a public or private trustee company, an accountant, or a lawyer. While independent decision-makers offer benefits like regulation, insurance, and experienced staff, they typically charge fees for their services. Be sure to inquire about these fees before making a decision.


Furthermore, remember that an independent decision-maker may lack the intimate knowledge of your values and preferences that a family member or community member possesses.


Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication.