Reform to Victorian laws on Powers of Attorney
Victorians are being encouraged to use Enduring Powers of Attorney as a means of managing their personal affairs.
Reforms to the state’s laws relating to Powers of Attorney came into effect on 1 September 2015, as a response to an inquiry by the Victorian Parliamentary Law Reform Committee.
The changes consolidate Enduring Powers of Attorney (financial) and Enduring Powers of Guardianship and enable people to clearly state the responsibilities and duties of Enduring Attorneys and the limits on their powers.
There are restrictions surrounding who a person can be appoint as an Attorney. The person:
- Must be over the age of 18
- Cannot be insolvent under administration
- Must not have been convicted or found guilty of an offence involving dishonesty
- Cannot be a care worker, health provider or accommodation provider for the person making the Enduring Power of Attorney, known as the Principal.
A trustee company can be appointed as an Attorney for financial matters under the Enduring Power of Attorney if the company is not a company against which a proceeding for winding-up has commenced.
The Public Advocate can also be appointed as an attorney under a Power of Attorney for personal matters.
There are also limitations to power given under Enduring Power of Attorney.
It is important to note that an Attorney cannot make or revoke a Will or Enduring Power of Attorney for the Principal, vote at a State or Federal election on behalf of the Principal, agree to a marriage or dissolution of marriage on behalf of the Principal or give effect to decisions about the care and well-being of any children of the Principal.
Powers of Attorney made before 1 September 2015 remain valid.
For more information about Powers of Attorney in Victoria visit the Office of the Public Advocate at publicadvocate.vic.gov.au