Powers of Attorney

At the same time as considering your Will, we strongly recommend that you also put in place plans for any future incapacity through Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial and Lifestyle) and Medical Treatment Decision Maker. This will ensure that if you somehow become unable to make decisions about your finances, your medical treatment or living arrangements then the person or persons who you trust to make these decisions, can do so unhindered.

We can assist you with the following Powers of Attorney used in Victoria:

  • Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial and Lifestyle), which is used to appoint someone to make legal and financial and lifestyle decisions for you in the event that you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself.
  • Medical Treatment Decision Maker, which is used to appoint someone to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them yourself.

    How much does a Power of Attorney Package Cost?

    • $600 plus GST & disbursements for a single person Enduring Power of Attorney and Medical Treatment Decision Maker
    • $900 plus GST & disbursements for a couples Enduring Power of Attorney and Medical Treatment Decision Maker

    Who can make a Power of Attorney?

    Anyone over the age of 18 who has the capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the document, who makes the decisions in the document of their own free will and who can communicate clearly what those decisions are.

    When should I make an Enduring Power of Attorney & Medical Treatment Decision Maker?

    Before you need them! These documents safeguard your interests in the event of something unforeseen – an accident or illness that robs you of your capacity to make decisions for yourself. It is better to be prepared and confident in knowing that the person you choose will be making important decisions about your money, your living arrangements, and your health.

    When Does it Start?

    For a Power of Attorney (Financial and Lifestyle), it begins when you nominate that it should. Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment Decision Maker) only commence when you are unable to make your own decisions.

    Who should I appoint to be my Attorney?

    You need to appoint someone you trust to make the right decisions. With an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial and Lifestyle), you can appoint more than one person to make the decisions jointly.

    What are the legal responsibilities of my Attorney?

    They are legally responsible to you and must act in your best interests. While you have mental capacity, they must obey your instructions. They cannot give gifts to themselves or to anyone else unless you specifically authorise this and they must keep their finances and money separate from yours, keeping accurate records of all of their dealings with your money.

    Who should I talk to about it?

    It’s important you discuss these documents with a lawyer who can give you professional advice about your particular circumstances. It’s also important that you discuss your wishes with your family to avoid unnecessary conflict and stress.

    Do I need a Witness?

    Yes, these documents need to be witnessed by a person with statutory authority such as a lawyer or Notary Public.

    Can I change my mind?

    Yes, as long as you still have the decision-making capacity to do so, you can revoke or change these documents. This has to be done in a legally binding way, however, so please seek legal advice.

    What should I do if my loved one has already lost capacity and needs help making decisions?

    If you have a loved one who has a disability or illness impairing their capacity and requires assistance with lifestyle and/or financial decisions, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a Guardian and/or Administrator to be appointed.

    Role of a Guardian

    A guardian makes personal lifestyle decisions for a person with a disability who does not have capacity to make these decisions for themselves. This can include decisions about their living arrangements, work arrangements, medical treatment and access to people and services.

    Role of an Administrator

    An administrator makes financial and legal decisions for a person with a disability who does not have capacity to make these decisions for themselves. These decisions can include managing property, sale of property, paying bills or buying things they need/want.

    At the same time as considering your Power of Attorney documents, we strongly recommend you have a current “Will”, either a new Will or an amendment to your existing Will, to ensure it reflects any change in your personal life or circumstances.

    Refer to our Website on the Services page > “Wills/Estate Planning” for more information.

    If you need any assistance, contact our lawyers at [email protected] or call 03 9670 7440 for expert legal advice.