Powers of Attorney

Almost all Powers of Attorney nowadays prepared by solicitors are “enduring”. This means that, if the person who has given the power (the ‘principal’) loses mental capacity, the Power of Attorney continues in effect. This is despite the fact that principal is no longer able to give instructions to the attorney, to check on what they do or cancel the power of attorney. This statutory creation overrides the old law of agency, on which powers of attorney are based.

There are other types of Powers of Attorney, but the three in most common use are:

Financial Powers of Attorney – Personal Powers of Attorney – Appointments of Medical Treatment Decision Makers

Financial Powers
of Attorney

Pursuant to the Powers of Attorney Act 2014. These entitle the attorney to handle financial matters generally, including relating to real estate, bank accounts, investments, pensions and payment of bills. The modern form provides substantial flexibility, including as regards the number of attorneys required to sign documents, backup attorneys and the time at which the power is commence.

Personal Powers
of Attorney

Again pursuant to the Powers of Attorney Act 2014. These relate to decisions about living arrangements, including as to the decision to leave home and go into nursing or respite care; and

Appointments of medical treatment decision makers

Pursuant to the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (Vic.) This document, which replaces the old appointment of medical agent, is now also quite flexible and provides a number of options. However there can be only one medical treatment decision maker at any given time.