If you have not signed an EPA and you become unable to manage your financial affairs, a person will have to make an application to the State Administrative Tribunal to manage your financial affairs. This may not be the same person you would wish to have control of your financial affairs. Such a situation could lead to neglect, abuse or a government body stepping in. However, even if it is a person you would have approved of, it will be a costly and time consuming exercise for them, compared to the relative economy and time efficiency of making an EPA while you are in good health.
The need for an EPA often arises suddenly and if an EPA is not in place a spouse may not be able to sell property to pay for medical expenses or access funds from a bank account. Basically, everything that requires your signature or authority is frozen. This can add further stress to an already traumatic experience.
For more information on EPAs, please read here.