Age Care

Changes to Power of Attorney legislation in Victoria

In Victoria, from 1 September 2015, the previous four types of Powers of Attorney –

General, Financial, Medical Treatment and Appointment of Enduring Guardian – have been reduced to three.

1. Non-enduring (replaces General)

Non-enduring Powers of Attorney are for specific transactions such as property purchases and sales. One or more attorneys can be appointed, who act jointly unless the document states otherwise. The power cannot be delegated and ceases to have effect when capacity is lost.

2. Enduring (combination of Financial and Appointment of Enduring Guardian)

Enduring Powers of Attorney cover financial and personal matters. They allow the attorney to manage the financial and lifestyle affairs of the Principal. They commence on the date of signing or as specified; they end only on the death of either the Principal or Attorney or if the Attorney loses decision making capacity.

3. Medical Treatment

Medical Treatment Powers of Attorney remain unchanged. They confer the power to refuse medical treatment but do not include the refusal of palliative care. An Attorney cannot make or revoke a Will or an Enduring Power of Attorney, vote on behalf of the Principal, manage their estate upon death or enter into a dissolution of marriage for them.

Whichever the type of Power of Attorney, Attorneys must act honestly, diligently and in good faith; exercise reasonable skill and care; not use their position for profit unless authorised; avoid acting when there is or may be a conflict of interest; not mix property other than jointly owned property; and not delegate.