Post Power of attorney 2

New power of attorney forms

The new Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic) (Act) comes into effect as of 1 September 2015. There are new prescribed forms that need to be used from that date onwards.

There are now 4 powers of attorney

  • Non-enduring powers of attorney (previously called general powers of attorney).
  • Enduring powers of attorney – personal (previously enduring guardianship power).
  • Enduring power of attorney – financial.
  • Supportive attorney.

Some of the major changes made by the Act include:

  • the donor of a power is referred to as a principal
  • there are some activities which a power cannot be given for and therefore restrictions on the attorney’s activities
  • more eligibility requirements for an attorney, including an attorney must:
    • not be a care worker, a health provider or an accommodation provider for a principal
    • not have been convicted or found guilty of an offence involving dishonesty if appointed as attorney for financial matters
    • be over 18
    • not be insolvent under administration
    • and if any of the above apply after the power is given, the power is revoked (reversed)
  • allowing attorneys (where more than one appointed) to act alone or by majority  as the current arrangements of jointly or joint and severally
  • witnesses for enduring powers cannot be:
    • relatives of the principal or the attorney
    • care workers or accommodation providers for the principal
  • one witness for enduring powers must be someone who can witness affidavits eg: solicitor
  • the attorney or alternative attorney‘s signature on the statement of acceptance must be witnessed
  • the power of attorney can only be revoked (reversed) in writing by formal revocation provided that the principal has capacity and understanding when revoking

Penalties for Attorneys who do the wrong thing

  • the attorney may be ordered to pay compensation for loss caused by the attorney breaching the Act
  • a range of offences created by the Act with penalties of five years imprisonment or fines of 600 penalty units.

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