There are a few different types of Power of Attorney, and the documents are different for each State, so it’s important to make sure that you have the right one(s). While a Will operates after death, Powers of Attorney are designed to make sure the right person (or people) is in charge of making decisions for you while you’re still alive.
Sometimes you may decide that your nominated attorney (for example, a partner or children) can make decisions on your behalf as soon as you sign the document. This is particularly convenient for people who travel frequently, or are really busy and often need help from others to deal with service providers. It is important to note that an attorney appointed under a Power of Attorney for financial decisions in particular has extremely broad powers, and you need to make sure that you appoint someone (or a number of people) you trust completely to make these decisions.
Alternatively, you may elect to have the power begin on a specified event – for example, when a medical professional certifies that you no longer have the capacity to make your own decisions. This nomination is contained within the document.
The primary documents for Victoria are:
Enduring Power of Attorney – this can be for financial decisions only, personal decisions only, or both. You can nominate one person at a time, or more than one person – either requiring a unanimous, majority, or unilateral decision from any of the nominated attorneys.
Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker – this document nominates someone to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf, and generally only applies if you can’t make those decisions yourself.
Advance Health Care Directive – this document is best prepared in consultation with your doctor. It outlines what your wishes would be for end of life types of decisions, palliative care, and the types of treatments you would want in various situations. Once complete, a copy of this is usually provided to your doctor and local hospital, and registered into their system.
Contact Us today to discuss your Powers of Attorney