This page provides a plain-English overview of the legal processes involved in planning ahead, as well as links to local information. To get advice about your individual circumstances it is recommended that you consult with one of the agencies referred to below or a legal practitioner.
How do I legally appoint someone to make financial decisions on my behalf?
- You can do this by appointing someone as an attorney under a Power of Attorney document.
- There are two types of Power of Attorney – general non-enduring and enduring.
- A general non-enduring power of attorney ceases to be valid if the person making it loses capacity to make their own decisons, whereas an enduring power of attorney remains valid even if the person loses capacity.
- An enduring power of attorney is the best one for people wanting to plan long-term and to cover themselves if they lose capacity in the future.
- The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 – implemented from 1 September 2015 – has brought together the old 'enduring power of attorney (financial)' and 'enduring power of guardianship' into a single ‘enduring power of attorney’.
- Using the new form, you can specify if the appointed person can make decisions just on financial or personal matters, or on both.
- You can nominate several people, specify if they need to act separately or together, nominate an alternative attorney as a back-up, specify when the Power starts and put specific conditions on the Power.
- The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 has also introduced a new type of power of attorney appointment — the Supportive Attorney. Supportive Attorney appointments are about promoting autonomy and dignity for a person who is able to make various decisions themselves, provided they have support to make and act on those decisions.
- A person who makes a Supportive Attorney appointment gives power to the person they appoint to access information from third parties (such as hospitals, banks and utility providers), to communicate their decisions and to give effect to (act on) their decisions.
- A Supportive Attorney can only act while the person appointing them has capacity to make the decisions for which they need support.
- Enduring Powers of Attorney and Guardianship made before 1 September 2015 are valid under the new Act.
- There is no central register of people appointed under Enduring Powers of Attorney in Victoria.
- You can get assistance to complete an Enduring Power of Attorney from solicitors, some community legal centres or State Trustees. You can contact the Office the Public Advocate for advice on the best options for assistance for you.
Links to local resources
To view a range of current information about Power of Attorney - including downloads of the appointment form from the Office of the Public Advocate website, click here.
To get information and download a comprehensive booklet about Powers of Attorney, called Take Control, click here.
To find out more about Supportive Attorney appointments, go to the Office of the Public Advocate website, here.
Advice for people who have been appointed as attorneys or supportive attorneys can be found as links on this webpage here.
The State Trustees can be contacted here or by calling (03) 9667 6466 or 1300 138 672.
The Office of the Public Advocate can be contacted here or by calling 1300 309 337.