Baby Boomers are you ready?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document under which a person (referred to as the ‘Principal’) who has the capacity to make decisions, may appoint another person (referred to as an ‘Attorney’) to make decisions on his/her behalf.
A new law is in place – what does this mean to you?
The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (“the Act”) commenced on 1 September 2015. A copy of the Act can be found HERE.
The purpose of the Act is to:
- clarify and consolidate Victoria’s enduring Powers of Attorney laws;
- create the role of supportive attorney;
- improve the protections against abuse of the Enduring Powers of Attorney.
Powers of Attorney made prior to 1 September 2015 will remain valid. The Act does not affect Enduring Powers of Attorney (Medical Treatment), which will continue to be regulated separately under the Medical Treatment Act 1988.
So what does this all mean to you?
When you appoint a Power of Attorney, you will ensure your personal, medical and financial matters are managed properly if you no longer have the physical or mental capacity to manage these issues yourself.
If no one is appointed as your Power Of Attorney, VCAT is the only authority capable of appointing someone to this role. This process can take at least six months and additional legal costs can be incurred.
To avoid a VCAT proceeding, you must ensure that the appropriate documents are prepared and executed while you (or the person you are organising Power of Attorney for) still has decision-making capacity.
The preparation of these forms should be unique to each person as individual circumstances are always different. There are a number of different types of Powers of Attorney, including:
- Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA);
- Supportive Power of Attorney (SPOA);
- Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA).
The best time to complete your Power of Attorney was yesterday, the second best time – is today. For further information or to receive the correct forms – speak to us.