Making an enduring power of attorney
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint someone to make decisions about personal or financial matters. This person is called an attorney. The power endures - or continues - if and when you are unable to make decisions.
You should only make an enduring power of attorney if there is someone you trust, who understands what is important to you, and is willing and able to act on your wishes as far as it is possible to do so. Otherwise you shouldn’t make an enduring power of attorney.
You can make an enduring power of attorney if you are aged 18 years or older and have decision-making capacity to do so.
You can only make an enduring power of attorney for yourself, you cannot make one on behalf of someone else.
Your attorney cannot make medical treatment decisions for you unless they are also your medical treatment decision maker.
What happens if you don't make an enduring power of attorney?
If you don’t appoint anyone, and are unable to make a decision when it needs to be made, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) can appoint someone to make the decision, such as the Public Advocate or a trustee company.
Choosing an attorney
if you choose to appoint an attorney, it’s vital you choose the right person or persons.
This is because you are giving them the power to make important decisions for you at a vulnerable time of your life.
You need to choose someone you trust to stand in your place and make the decision you would make for yourself if you had capacity. They should be unlikely to pre-decease you, and be willing, able and available at the time a decision may need to be made.
We also recommend you review your choice every year.
You can appoint more than one attorney. It's your choice.
You can choose for your attorney(s) to have the power to make decisions about financial matters (such as paying bills), personal matters (such as where you live) or both.
You can limit the power to cover only specific matters, and you can choose when the powers start.
Completing the form
It is also important to appreciate that powers of attorney are complex legal documents that have become more complicated over the years.
While it is still possible to complete these forms yourself, we recommend you get legal advice to ensure your power of attorney and other documents accurately reflect your wishes. You can engage a private solicitor or State Trustees Limited, which will charge a fee
The Department of Justice and Community Safety has created an interactive long and short version of the enduring power of attorney form.
If you choose to use one of these forms, you will need to save it to your computer before you start to fill it out. After completing the form, you need to print it off and sign it in front of witnesses.
If you wish to appoint more than one attorney, you will need to use the long version of the form.
You can appoint one attorney and up to two alternative attorneys (back-ups) using the short version.
Storage and certified copies
Your completed document is not registered in Victoria. You should keep the original in a safe place and give your attorneys certified copies, or make sure they know where to find a certified copy when they need it.
Read about certified copies.
When an enduring power of attorney ends
An enduring power of attorney ends if:
- you revoke (cancels) the power (while you have capacity to do so)
- you make a later enduring power of attorney (unless you specify that their earlier one is not cancelled)
- the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) revokes the power
- you die.
Read about how to revoke an enduring power of attorney.
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