National guide to making financial powers of attorney

Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Hon. Dr Kay Patterson AO, has launched a national guide to making enduring powers of attorney for financial decisions.

You Decide Who Decides, developed by the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council, is a national resource which identifies differences between the law across the country.

Dr Patterson spoke glowingly about the guide, but who also outlined her hope (unusual at a launch) that the guide would soon be obsolete.

Her hope, shared by OPA, is that we achieve national harmonisation of financial enduring powers of attorney laws, which would indeed render the guide out of date. But until that day, the guide looks like it will serve an important purpose.

“This guide is a valuable first step in potentially bringing all the different powers of attorney under one Act,” Dr Patterson said.

“It identifies the differences between the enduring power of attorney laws in all the states and territories.”

The guide also helps people decide whether making an enduring power for financial is right for them.

It contains useful tips, personal stories and examples of wording that can be used to ensure wishes are properly expressed if the person decides to donate a power.

Information about where to find the form in different states and territories and a list of other useful websites is included at the back.

Limited numbers of the hard-copy version can be obtained from the offices of the Public Advocate or Guardian in each state or territory.

Both Dr Patterson and Victoria's Parliamentary Secretary for Health. Parliamentary Secretary for Carers & Volunteers, Anthony Carbines, who attended the event tweeted about the launch.

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