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Powers of Attorney

A Will deals with the distribution of your estate upon your death.  What many of us do not think about is who can legally deal with our assets or make medical or financial decisions on our behalf whilst we are still alive.  Powers of Attorney can cover a broad range of situations, including appointing a family member to deal with your bank accounts whilst you are on a holiday to appointing an individual to make financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are no longer capable of doing so.

There are different types of Powers of Attorney, including:-

Private appointments

1.     General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney is often made in circumstances where a person is overseas and requires a family member to access their bank accounts, where a person has an extremely busy lifestyle or would simply prefer not to deal with their affairs.  You may choose to appoint an Attorney to act on your behalf for a limited period whilst you are overseas on vacation. 

A General Power of Attorney becomes inoperative once you have lost capacity.

2.     Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney operates when you lose capacity and are unable to deal with your financial or other affairs.  There are three types of Enduring Powers of Attorney:-

2.1   Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial);

You may appoint an Attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf.

2.2   Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment); and

You may appoint an Agent to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf (i.e. to refuse or insist on medical treatment).

2.3   Enduring Power of Guardianship

You may appoint a guardian to make lifestyle decisions on your behalf (i.e. where you will live or who can visit you).

Public appointments

Applications can be made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  Seniors’ Law @ Rennicks can assist you to lodge an application with VCAT for VCAT to appoint one of the following:-

1.   Administrator; or

An administrator is a person or organisation appointed by VCAT to make financial and legal decisions for someone who has a disability and is unable to make their own decisions.

2.   Guardian

A guardian is a person appointed by VCAT to make personal lifestyle decisions (i.e. where a person is to live) for someone who is unable to make their own decisions.

You may wish to consider making an application to VCAT to appoint an Administrator and/or Guardian in circumstances where:-

(a)   There is no Attorney/Guardian/Agent privately appointed for an individual; or

(b)   There are concerns about the manner in which an individual appointed as an Attorney/Guardian/Agent is acting and whether this is in accordance with the best interests of the Donor; or

(c)   You have been appointed as an Attorney/Guardian/Agent and no longer wish to hold such position.

Seniors’ Law @ Rennicks offer:-

(A)   Assistance to lodge an application with VCAT; and

(B)   Partners of Rennick & Gaynor Solicitors to be nominated as Guardian or Administrator (or both) for individuals who are unable to make their own decisions. Daniel Minogue and Joanne Hazeldene, two of the partners of Rennick & Gaynor Solicitors, have been appointed as Guardian and Administrator for individuals in the past so are experienced in dealing with the intricate details of various matters.

For further information, please contact Seniors’ Law @ Rennicks on 13 000 RENNICKS (1300 073 664) or email seniorslaw@rennicks.com.au