Appointing an enduring power of attorney is an important decision and one that we all should consider while we have the capacity to make decisions, as we get older it becomes more relevant, the following information is from the Office of the Public Advocate.
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document where an individual appoints another person (or people), called the ‘attorney(s)’, to make decisions for them about:
The power ‘endures’. This means that it continues even if and when the person loses capacity to make their own decisions about matters. The attorney’s decisions have the same legal force as if the person who appointed them had made them. Enduring powers of attorney are made under thePowers of Attorney Act 2014.
The person who makes the appointment (known as the ‘principal’) must be 18 years of age or older and have decision making capacity to make the appointment.
The person making the enduring power of attorney should decide:
The principal decides the types of decisions their attorney(s) can make. These can be decisions about:
Or the principal can limit the attorney(s)’ power to making decisions about specific financial and personal matters.
Financial matters are any matter relating to the principal’s:
Financial matters include any legal matter that relates to the financial or property affairs of the principal.
Personal matters are matters relating to the principal’s:
Personal matters include any legal matter that relates to the principal’s personal and lifestyle affairs.
Examples of personal matters are health care matters, including whether to consent to medical treatment, access to support services and where and with whom a person lives.
Things an attorney can’t do
An attorney appointed for all personal matters has power to consent to medical treatment but does not have the power to refuse medical treatment. Only a medical agent appointed under an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment) or a guardian appointed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) with power to make decisions about medical treatment can refuse medical treatment on behalf of another person.
An attorney does not have power to do the following things on behalf of the principal: