Preparing your powers of attorney
A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person to make decisions for you, or to support you in making and giving effect to your own decisions. In some cases, the person you appoint can act for you even when you are unable to make decisions yourself.
A power of attorney is a legal document that can give someone you trust the ability to deal with your financial affairs, make decisions about the way you live, or make decisions about your health care and medical treatment.
Types of powers of attorney
A power of attorney is a helpful and powerful legal document: it lets you choose a trusted person or organisation to make important decisions for you.
In Victoria, you can use an enduring power of attorney to permit your attorney to make personal and lifestyle decisions for you, as well as financial and property decisions. You may also appoint someone to make medical treatment decisions under an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment).
There is also the option to appoint someone to support you to make your own decisions, and to help you give effect to them, under an appointment of supportive attorney.
What types of appointments can State Trustees help me with?
State Trustees can assist in the preparation of any of the following appointments:
Enduring power of attorney:
An enduring power of attorney for financial matters enables you to choose an individual, or an organisation like State Trustees, to look after your financial or property affairs, including any legal matter that relates to your financial or property affairs.
Your attorney can:
- assist with your day-to-day finances
- manage your bills
- manage your property
- arrange for your tax returns to be completed.
- An enduring power of attorney for personal matters enables you to choose a trusted friend or family member to make personal decisions that relate to your care and welfare, including your health care.
Your attorney can decide:
- where you live
- who you live with
- what education or training you receive
whether you go on a holiday and where you go
whether should receive a particular type of health care or treatment.
You can also make an enduring power of attorney for both financial matters and personal matters.
Enduring power of attorney (medical treatment): This enables you to choose a trusted friend or family member to make decisions about your health and wellbeing if you are unable to make those decisions.
Your attorney can:
- consent to any lawful medical treatment
- refuse medical treatment on your behalf.
Appointment of supportive attorney: The supportive attorney appointment enables you to choose a trusted friend or family member to help you in your decision making. Unlike a power of attorney, you are not giving the supportive attorney power to make decisions for you, but they can help you by collecting information for you, communicating your decisions to others, or giving effect to the decisions you make. The supportive attorney cannot act if you become unable to make your own decisions about the things you have appointed your supportive attorney to help you with. For those circumstances, you would need to have an enduring power of attorney in place so that your attorney can step in to act for you.
When should I organise my powers of attorney?
You should prepare your enduring powers of attorney when you are healthy, aware and in control. By planning ahead of time, you know you can rely on having an attorney in place to step in and help you manage your affairs according to your wishes when you need it most.
Similarly, it may be much harder to put an appointment of supportive attorney in place if you are no longer at your best, either physically or mentally.
Why appoint State Trustees as your attorney for financial matters?
State Trustees understands power of attorney law, and the obligations of an attorney.
State Trustees gives you an expert, professional, impartial option. Our comprehensive financial management service has been designed to give you peace of mind and security.
We work for you. We listen. We advise.
By ensuring we understand your needs and your wishes, we can help protect and appropriately manage all your financial income and assets. So you don’t have to worry about the everyday details of managing your money.