Victorian laws on powers of attorney are changing
Powers of attorney (POAs) are legal documents that enable you to choose someone to make decisions for you. They are designed to give you choice and control over how your affairs are handled.
Changes to the Victorian laws relating to powers of attorney come into effect on 1 September 2015 with the commencement of the Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (the Act). These reforms include:
- consolidating enduring powers of attorney (financial) and enduring powers of guardianship into the enduring powers of attorney, so that one form can be used to manage your financial and/or personal matters;
- defining ‘decision making capacity’ and stating that a person is presumed to have decision making capacity unless there is evidence to the contrary;
- clearly stating the responsibilities and duties of enduring attorneys and the limits on their powers;
- establishing a new role – the supportive attorney – who can support the person appointing them as that person makes or gives effect to decisions (but not make decisions on that person’s behalf);
- adding safeguards to increase the protection of people making an enduring power of attorney or supportive attorney appointment.
Powers of attorney made before 1 September 2015 remain valid. The reforms do not affect enduring powers of attorney (medical treatment).
For more information about powers of attorney in Victoria contact the Office of the Public Advocate on tel.1300 309 337 or publicadvocate.vic.gov.au.