Powers of attorney law change
Powers of attorney in Victoria changed on 1 September 2015, with the commencement of the Powers of Attorney Act 2014.
The Powers of Attorney Act does not affect the medical enduring power of attorney. The medical enduring power of attorney continues to be regulated by the Medical Treatment Act 1988.
Making powers of attorney after 1 September 2015
From 1 September 2015, powers of attorney appointments, apart from the medical enduring power of attorney, must be made under the new Powers of Attorney Act using the new forms. Because the medical enduring power of attorney has not changed, this form remains the same.
The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) has step-by-step information about how to make powers of attorney under the new Act on the OPA website. The new online forms are also available on the OPA website.
A new edition of OPA’s Take Control guide to making enduring powers of attorney assists individuals through the process of making enduring powers of attorney under the new Act. The guide can be downloaded from the OPA website, or up to four hard copies can be ordered from OPA's website. For larger orders of Take Control, visit Victoria Legal Aid's website www.legalaid.vic.gov.au
About the changes
The new Powers of Attorney Act has brought together the old 'enduring power of attorney (financial)' and 'enduring power of guardianship' into a single ‘enduring power of attorney’.
Importantly, a new type of power of attorney appointment — the supportive attorney — has become available. The Victorian Parliament’s aim in making available new supportive attorney appointments is to promote autonomy and dignity for people who have capacity to make various decisions for themselves, provided they have support to make and give effect to those decisions.
A supportive attorney can be appointed by an adult (who has decision making capacity in relation to making the supportive attorney appointment) to provide support to make and give effect to some or all of their decisions.
Powers of attorney made before September 2015 are valid
Enduring powers of attorney and guardianship made before 1 September 2015 are valid under the new Act.