At some stage during your life, you may be faced with an event, such as an accident or illness, which might take away your capacity to make important decisions for yourself. This includes things like where you live, how you spend your money and what support services you may need.
A Power of Attorney allows you to choose who will legally make decisions about financial and personal matters if you are not able to make these decisions yourself. In Victoria, there are three different types of Power of Attorney, each suited to different situations.
General Power of Attorney Victoria
A General Power of Attorney authorises a nominated individual to act on your behalf. You may nominate multiple individuals as your attorney and there are a number of options available setting out how multiple attorneys are to operate the authority given to them. The scope of this authority and the duration of its effect will depend on how you decide to determine the terms of the power. For example, you may grant a General Power of Attorney to permit someone to sell your house for a specific amount, or act on your behalf while you are overseas or in hospital.
A General Power of Attorney can specify when and in what circumstances it will operate, and when it will end (such as upon the sale of a property, or after a specific date). You can also end a general power of attorney at any time by revoking it. A Wills and Power of Attorney lawyer can help draft this legal document.
Enduring Power of Attorney
The individual, or individuals,you nominate under an Enduring Power of Attorney Victoria is similarly able to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. However, they can also make lifestyle decisions for you, such as deciding what type of nursing care you receive.
Unlike a General Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney will not cease if you lose capacity to manage your affairs. Unless you decide otherwise, the nominated Attorney will typically only act if you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. For example, if you were to become incapacitated due to a medical condition.
Medical Power of Attorney
Medical Power of Attorney involves nominating someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. This includes consenting or refusing to consent to procedures, consenting or refusing to consent to the use of pharmaceutical products and deciding what palliative care you will receive. A medical treatment decision maker can only make these decisions if you are not able to make these decisions for yourself.
You may appoint up to four medical decision makers in order of preference with only one of them able to make decisions for you at a given time. The medical decision makers must be listed in order, and preference will be given to the medical treatment decision maker who is highest on the list.
Wills & Power of Attorney Lawyers in Melbourne
There are many matters to consider when making a Power of Attorney, and the authority should be tailored to your specific needs and requirements so that you can be confident that your directions and wishes are carried out in your best interests.
Need advice regarding powers of attorney in Victoria? Contact the experienced legal team at McNab McNab & Starke. Our extensive team of Probate and deceased estate administration lawyers can offer support, advice and personalised services:
Contact our team on 03 9670 9691 or use our online contact form to get in touch now.