Enduring Powers of Attorney and Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Makers Q & A

As part of a comprehensive estate plan, it is important to remember two key documents:-

  • Enduring Power of Attorney and
  • Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker.

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

This document allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you in relation to legal, financial, and personal matters. An Attorney manages your legal and financial matters on your behalf, including paying your bills from your accounts, buying and selling property for you, and advocating with Centrelink and the ATO on your behalf.

Who should I choose as Attorney?

Who you choose as your Attorney is up to you. It may be your spouse or de facto partner, another family member or close friend, an accountant, lawyer or a trustee company.

When does my Attorney start acting?

It’s your choice. Some people prefer their Attorney to begin acting only if they lose capacity, whereas others are happy to say that the Attorney can act immediately.

What is an Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Maker?

This document allows you to authorise someone to make medical treatment decisions for you in circumstances in which you are unable to make your own decisions.

Who should I choose as Medical Treatment Decision Maker?

People often choose a spouse or de facto partner, family member or close friend. You can have as many people as you would like, but only one can act at any point in time.

When should I prepare these documents?

Right now – it’s important to have these documents in place in case you suffer an accident or illness that takes away your capacity to make decisions for yourself.

What happens if I don’t have these documents and I lose capacity?

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal might be asked to appoint an administrator or guardian to help you. This may lead to family conflict, and/or an external person or organisation making important and lifechanging decisions on your behalf.

Trent McGregor is a Wills & Estates Lawyer at Robertson Hyetts Lawyers & Conveyancers and is available for appointments via telephone, video conferencing, and home visits. Please let him know if you would prefer to come into the office. To discuss your wills and estate planning with Trent, please contact our office on 03 5434 6615, or trent.mcgregor@robertsonhyetts.com.au