Powers of Attorney
Powers of Attorney and Guardianship allow you to appoint someone to make decisions for you regarding:
- Financial matters
- Medical matters
- Legal matters
- Lifestyle matters
They are usually granted to give another person the power to make decisions for you if you lose the legal capacity to make decisions for yourself, for example, if you become mentally impaired through illness or injury.
General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney gives a person the authority to make legal or financial decisions for you only until you lose legal capacity to make decisions for yourself or until you die, become bankrupt or revoke the power. General Powers of Attorney are created for a specific purpose and for a specific period of time, for example, to allow a person to conduct your financial affairs while you are overseas.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney gives a person the authority to make legal, financial or medical decisions on your behalf and to continue to do so after you lose the capacity to make your own legal decisions. Enduring Powers of Attorney continue to have effect until you die, until you revoke the power while you have the legal capacity to do so, or until the Guardianship List of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal does so on your behalf after you lose legal capacity.
Enduring Power of Guardianship
An Enduring Power of Guardianship gives a person the authority to make personal and lifestyle decisions for you, such as where you live, once you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
Granting Powers of Attorney
One or more of these powers can be granted together and they can operate at the same time. These powers can also be granted to one or more persons, and you may choose whether the persons you give the powers to will act jointly or alternatively. Granting these sorts of powers to a person you trust is the only way that you can retain control over what happens to you and your affairs after you lose legal capacity to make decisions for yourself.
Powers of Attorney and Guardianship are generally easy to make (see below for the relevant forms) and do not need to be prepared by a lawyer. However, it is important to think carefully about the issues involved with granting such important responsibilities to others and the possible effects of any documents you create.
Monash-Oakleigh Legal Service can provide advice about the meaning and effect of the various powers, and can assist you in determining which powers are most appropriate in your circumstances. We can also provide any assistance you require in completing relevant forms.
Power of Attorney forms
You may also find some relevant materials on useful links page.