Appointing a supportive attorney
In Victoria, a supportive attorney appointment is a legal document, made under the Powers of Attorney Act 2014.
You can make a supportive attorney appointment if you are aged 18 years or older and have decision-making capacity to do so.
A supportive attorney supports you to make and act on decisions about financial or personal matters.
A supportive attorney cannot act on decisions about significant financial transactions, such as selling a house.
Nor do they have authority to support a person to make and give effect to decisions about medical treatment.
You will need to appoint a medical support person if you want support to make and give effect to decisions about medical treatment.
When a supportive attorney appointment does not have effect
A supportive attorney appointment does not have effect during any period that you do not have decision making capacity for the matters.
How to appoint a supportive attorney
1. Choose someone you trust
It is important you choose someone you trust and who respects your rights and independence.
You can appoint more than one supportive attorney. If they do, each supportive attorney acts separately.
2. Choose what types of decisions you want support to make
Choose what types of decisions you want support to make.
You can give your supportive attorney authority to:
- access, collect or obtain information
- assist you to access, collect or obtain information
This means organisations (such as banks, Centrelink and utility providers) will be authorised to disclose personal information about you to your supportive attorney.
You can also give your supportive attorney authority to:
- communicate your decisions
- take any reasonable action to give effect to your decisions.
Note: Your Supportive Attorney cannot act on decisions about significant financial transactions such as selling a house. Nor do they have authority to support you to make and give effect to decisions about medical treatment.
3. Complete the form
An interactive supportive attorney appointment form has been created by the Department of Justice & Community Safety.
Alternatively, find the short version of the form in the OPA booklet Side by Side.
4. Sign the form in front of witnesses
You need to sign the form in front of two adult witnesses.
If you cannot physically sign the form, you can direct another person to sign for you in your presence and in the presence of the witnesses.
One witness must be someone authorised to witness statutory declarations (which includes registered medical practitioners).
The Department of Justice & Community Safety website has a full list of people who can witness statutory declarations.
Neither witness can be:
- the person you are appointing as your supportive attorney
- a person who is signing the form at your direction (where you are unable to physically sign the form).
In addition, at least one witness must not be either a:
- relative of yours or a relative of your supportive attorney
- care worker or accommodation provider for you.
See what these words mean for the definitions of ‘relative’, ‘care worker’ and ‘accommodation provider’.
After you have signed the form in front of witnesses, your supportive attorney(s) must sign a statement of acceptance in front of a witness.
5. Make cetified copies of and store your form
Your completed document is not registered in Victoria. You should keep the original in a safe place and give your supportive attorneys certified copies, or make sure they know where to find a certified copy if they need it.
Read about certified copies.
Ending and cancelling the appointment
A supportive attorney appointment ends if:
- you revoke (cancels) the appointment
- the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) revokes the power
- you die
- the supportive attorney dies, where you do not have an alternative supportive attorney (a back-up).
Your supportive attorney’s role also ends if:
- they resign
- they are no longer eligible to be your supportive attorney
- they no longer have the decision-making capacity to support you or
- VCAT revokes their appointment.