While a Will deals with the distribution of your estate upon your death, your Power of Attorney appoints who will look after your assets and make medical or financial decisions on your behalf while you are alive.

With Powers of Attorney in place, you will have control over who makes decisions on your behalf if you do become incapacitated. Without Powers of Attorney, VCAT has broad discretion to appoint someone to make your decisions which may be contrary to your wishes or expensive if an independent Administrator or Guardian is appointed.

We recommend appointing someone that you trust who will look after your best interests in the event you are unable.  It is often a spouse, child, friend or another family member but you can also appoint a professional to act in this role.

Our Wills & Estates team has vast knowledge in advising clients and drafting the most appropriate forms of documentation for individual circumstances which include the following:

General Power of Attorney:A General Power of Attorney is often made for a specific amount of time and for a specific purpose, i.e. you are going overseas.  A General Power of Attorney becomes invalid if you lose capacity.
Enduring Power of Attorney:An Enduring Power of Attorney can begin operating immediately upon signing the document or in the event you lose capacity to deal you’re your own affairs later in life.

You may appoint an Attorney to make financial decisions on your behalf, such as paying your expenses, investing your money, selling property and purchasing necessities.

You can also appoint an Attorney to make personal decisions on your behalf. Personal decisions include where you live, who you live with, what clothing you wear and who is allowed to visit you should you need to move into care.

For financial and personal decisions, you can appoint multiple attorneys to act solely, jointly, jointly and severally (meaning one or more can make decisions), by majority or you can appoint different attorneys for different roles.

Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker:This document allows you to appoint a Medical Treatment Decision Maker to make decisions about your medical treatment should you be unable to. You can only appoint one person at a time in this role. We recommend appointing someone who has an understanding about your values and wishes with regard to medical treatment.
Advance Care Directive:This document is legally binding on your medical treatment decision maker and sets out your values and instructional directives regarding medical treatment for you in the future. It must be witnessed by a Medical Practitioner.