Powers of Attorney
Konstantin F Tringas can help you with the four types of Powers of Attorney used in Victoria:
- General non-enduring Power of Attorney which appoints someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf for a period of time, for example, if you are overseas and need someone to manage your financial affairs while you are away.
- Enduring Power of Attorney, which is used to appoint someone to make decisions for you in the event that you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself. The person appointed can make decisions for you regarding your financial and legal affairs, personal and lifestyle matters and future medical treatment and care.
- Enduring Medical Power of Attorney, which is used to appoint someone to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf if you can no longer make them yourself.
- Supportive Attorney Appointments, which appoint someone to assist you in making decisions or in dealing with government departments and other organisations, especially if you have a disability and want to retain decision-making authority.
WHO CAN MAKE AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?
Anyone over the age of 18 who has the capacity to understand the nature and consequences of the document, who makes the decisions in the document of their own free will and who can communicate clearly what those decisions are.
WHEN SHOULD I MAKE AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?
Before you need it! These documents safeguard your interests in the event of something unforeseen – an accident or illness that robs you of your capacity to make decisions for yourself. It is better to be prepared and confident in knowing that the person you choose will be making important decisions about your money, your living arrangements and your health.
WHEN DOES IT START?
An Enduring Power of Attorney begins when you nominate that it should. An Enduring Medical Power of Attorney only commences when you are unable to make your own decisions.
WHO SHOULD I APPOINT TO BE MY ATTORNEY?
You need to appoint someone you trust to make the right decisions. With a General non-enduring Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney you can appoint more than one person to make decisions jointly.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF MY ATTORNEY?
They are legally responsible to you and must act in your best interests. While you have mental capacity they must obey your instructions. They cannot give gifts to themselves or to anyone else unless you specifically authorise this and they must keep their finances and money separate from yours, keeping accurate records of all of their dealings with your money.
WHO SHOULD I TALK TO ABOUT IT?
It's really important that you discuss these documents with a lawyer who can give you professional advice about your particular circumstances. It is also recommended that you discuss your wishes with your family to avoid unnecessary conflict and stress.
DO I NEED A WITNESS?
Yes, an Enduring Power of Attorney needs to be witnessed by a person with authority to witness affidavits, such as a solicitor, doctor or justice of the peace.
CAN I CHANGE MY MIND?
Yes, as long as you still have the decision making capacity to do so you can revoke or change these documents. However, this has to be done in a legally binding way, so please seek legal advice.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an obligation free appointment.