Information for attorneys
If you are an attorney appointed under an enduring power of attorney, you have obligations under the Powers of Attorney Act 2014.
See the right menu for OPA's 'Information for attorneys' fact sheet.
OPA will soon have available on this web page a 'Guide for attorneys' that will explain the obligations, powers and duties of an attorney in more detail.
About enduring powers of attorney
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document where a person (known as the principal) appoints substitute decision makers (knowns as their attorneys) who can make decisions for them.
If you are appointed as an attorney, or alternative attorney, you sign the form to state that you understand the obligations of an attorney and the consequences of failing to comply with those obligations.
You may have been appointed as an attorney for financial matters, personal matters, or both.
What it means to be eligible to be an attorney
Anyone appointed as an attorney must be eligible to be an attorney.
Read about who is eligible to be an attorney.
If you become no longer eligible to be an attorney, complete the 'Enduring power of attorney notification of revocation form' (see right menu).
Compensation orders and offences
If you are an attorney and you fail to properly undertake your duties or obligations, and this results in a loss to the principal, you may be ordered to pay compensation. You can be charged with a criminal offence if you dishonestly use the enduring power for financial advantage. Read about compensation orders and offences.
If you wish to resign
You can resign while the principal still has decision making capacity for the matter(s) for which you were appointed.
You can resign when the principal does not have decision making capacity for the matter(s) for which you were appointed:
- if there is another attorney or alternative attorney willing to act who has power for the matter(s) or
- with leave of VCAT or the Supreme Court.
To resign, you must:
- complete the 'Enduring power of attorney resignation form' (see right menu)
- take reasonable steps to inform the principal and any other attorneys.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and advisory opinions
The Guardianship List of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) can give an advisory opinion to an attorney.
If you are an attorney and are unsure how to comply with your obligations and duties as an attorney, you can seek the advice of VCAT. VCAT is less formal than a court and holds hearings around Victoria. VCAT does not charge a fee.